In 2018 we held a total of 7 official work days – three dedicated to planting and maintenance, and 4 to cutting down our ever-persistent crop of invasive Japanese Knotweed. Many, many thanks to our 14 wonderful volunteers, Judy Argon, Karen Barsotti, Ellen Briggs, Helen Chen, Art Gold, Karen Hinckley, Gary Kingaffer, June Lauer, Orsi Lazar, Linda Pitt, Ellen Reese, Mary Ann Sheldon, Christel Urmenhazi, and Helene Feinberg Walker who donated a total of 84 hours to our ongoing efforts to keep our park green and growing! We should also note that, in addition to our official work days, ad hoc volunteers donated many additional but uncounted hours to general upkeep and maintenance (mostly weeding and invasive removal). An additional thank you to you unsung heroes! And last but not least, Matt Berk, Rich Cutshall, and Gary Stein have consistently been there to help with skilled projects such as gate latch repairs and affixing signage
In 2017, our volunteers once again surpassed expectation. During the year, we held 10 formal pre-announced work days. Our work included:
- Wildlife and Respite Garden maintenance
- Control of Japanese Knotweed, an invasive plant that threatens the park’s ecological health
- Planting new native shrubs in the low lying areas of the park in an effort to reduce mud
Seventeen of our members participated in these work days. Including additional help from several young people fulfilling community service requirements, we logged a total of 134 volunteer work hours for the year! Thanks a million to member volunteers Judy and Yair Argon, Ellen Briggs, Paula Burns, David and Tal Coren, Rich Cutshall, Michelle Detwiler, Pinkie Hamilton, Karen Hinckley, Tessa Lamont Siegel, June Lauer, Max Perelman, Linda Pitt, Ellen Reese, Cary Sellers, and Elaine Stern for all their hard work. We also had a number of non-official work days so our actual volunteer work hours probably total around 160.
Volunteer Work Day Projects in 2016
Our first project, begun three years ago, was the creation of the Wildlife and Respite Garden in the fenced area adjacent to the parking lot. In 2016, we continued maintenance and planting of this area. Our watering team kept the garden going during the severe drought, and additional volunteers kept after the weeds, cut back overgrown sedge, and did some more planting.
For the first time in 2016, we expanded our ecological efforts to the main park and held three work days centered on invasive plant removal –specifically, Japanese Knotweed. Knotweed crowds out many beneficial plants and is extraordinarily difficult to control. We succeeded in cutting and removing 700 pounds of knotweed from the park!
Altogether 22 volunteers contributed 92 hours at our work days. Thanks go to Judy Argon; Julian, Susan, and Paul Brenman; Ellen and Stephen Briggs; Paula Burns; Chris Bushnell; Daniel Cohen; Michelle Detwiler; Mary Field; Pinkie Hamilton; Bobby Harmelin; Karen Hinckley; Hazel Murphy; Linda Pitt; Ellen Reese; Elaine Stern; and Mark Wassmansdorf.
In addition, freelancer members Rich Cutshall and Craig Oliner spent uncounted hours clearing trails and removing debris. Rich even made us our Knotweed Penitentiary, where cut knotweed may be stored without danger of re-rooting itself into the park lands.
In 2015, we held 8 official work days, plus ongoing watering duty during weeks of insufficient rainfall. Altogether 21 people donated a total of 93 hours of labor in our Wildlife and Respite Garden. Special kudos to our watering team for many hours of watering during a drought-ridden summer!
Garden Workday Volunteers: Paula Burns, Chris Bushnell, Celeste DeBeese, Michelle Detwiler, Mary Field, Joseph Garrity, Gary Stein, Meredith Greenbaum, Karen Hinckley, Martha Lombardo, Hazel Murphy,
Melissa O’Connor, Linda Pitt, Ellen Reese, Toba Spector, Wendy White, Ellen Briggs, Peter Briggs, Steve Briggs.
Watering Team: Mark Wassmansdorf (Watermeister), Chris Bushnell, Michelle Detwiler, Bobby Harmelin, Karen Hinckley, Toba Spector, Ellen Briggs.
In addition, Chris Bushnell once again donated his woodworking talents to frame and install our beautiful Wildlife and Respite Garden sign, which was designed by Ellen Reese and Gary Stein. Gary also fixed the gate hardware for us so it is now a pleasure to open and shut those gates.
P.S. We were so busy working that we didn’t get stop to make sure and get pictures of each of our volunteers–we’ll try to get photos of everybody in 2016!
During 2014, we held 18 volunteer work days with 158 work hours donated by 18 volunteers:
Dan Barry, Ellen Briggs, Paula Burns, Chris Bushnell , Jill Cooper, David Dutwin , Aidan Dutwin, Elias Dutwin, Mary Field, Karen Garbeil, Karen Hinckley, Maddie Kessler, Tessa Lamont, Martha Lombardo , Debby Merker, Hazel Murphy, Ellen Reese, and Toba Spector.
This intrepid band removed rocks and invasive vine roots, weeded, mulched with cardboard and shredded bark to suppress future weeds, created a log-and-woodchip garden path, dug a berm and swale to control water runoff, built a compost bin (by Chris Bushnell), and planted 5 trees and 48 native wildlife-friendly shrubs.
In addition, the Boy Scouts designed, built and donated 4 beautiful benches and a table to grace our park. Thanks to Pranav Pillai, Eagle Scout candidate, and his troop for their fabulous project!
And thanks to one and all!