Knotweed is a noxious invasive plant that vigorously self-plants itself in moist areas, degrades the ecosystem, and ultimately promotes soil erosion on stream banks. At this annual event, we cut the plants to the ground and dispose of the stems, giving the “good guy” plants a better chance to take over the territory. Wear long pants and long sleeves, and bring gloves! Come and go as you please. Water and Kind bars will be available.
Santa Paws once again took time from his busy schedule to visit all the good dogs at West Mill Creek on Sunday, December 18! It may have been a little overcast and a lot muddy, but the dogs enjoyed the dog biscuit and the chance to give Santa their wish lists, and the people enjoyed some hot cocoa and doughnuts to keep out the damp. Moreover, we raised $435 for the Pennsylvania S.P.C.A! Thanks to all who participated–including Giant supermarket which generously donated the doughnuts.
Lots of news this summer. . .
New Safety Fence! Our biggest news item is the soon-to-be-installed s
afety fence that will run along Old Gulph Road and along the bank of the creek opposite the beach area. This black wire fence should be almost invisible to preserve the natural aesthetics of our park. It is intended to stop dogs who cross the creek in the beach area from running directly out onto Old Gulph Road. (Sorry, we cannot fence the entire park, but we believe the placement of the new fence will provide a significant safety improvement.) Thanks to your generous donations, Friends of West Mill Creek Park will pay for the 100% of the fence. Another big thank you is due to our neighbor, The Courts, the tennis club that owns the property on the other side of the creek. The Courts graciously cooperated in this project by allowing the fence to be placed on their property.
New Sign. If you’ve been to the park recently, you will have noticed our spiffy new “Welcome to West Mill Creek” sign. It has received lots of positive feedback. Thanks Lower Merion Department of Parks & Rec! You may be interested to know that the sign results from a job skills training program in our Montgomery County prison system. The prisoners designed and manufactured the sign and we think it shows that they have a lot of artistic talent and know-how. Great job guys!
New Trash Can Corrals. Many thanks, once again, to the Boy Scouts for our handsome new trash can corrals. The corrals will keep the cans from tipping over and also provide an aesthetic upgrade. They come to us courtesy of Paul Lewis of Boy Scout Troop 71 (Merion Liberty Troop). Paul worked with Parks Supervisor Dave Deangelis to design, build and install the corrals as his Eagle Scout project. Thanks Paul and Dave!
We Love Your Input. If you have an idea for a future project or event, please let us know. You can either speak to someone on the Steering Committee or send us an email via the Contact Us tab on the website. Our projects have frequently originated from member suggestions, or received a boost up the priority list based on your feedback, so please participate!
Want to Support the Friends of WMC? We hope that you are pleased with all our progress this year. If you would like to support the new safety fence and future projects, it’s not too late to make a donation and become an official 2016 Contributing Member of Friends of West Mill Creek Park. See the “Get Involved!” tab on this website for information.
Many thanks to the organizations that have supported us this year:
Beth David Reform Congregation for providing facilities and other support for our Third Annual Meeting and annual newsletter.
Ricklins Hardware, Narberth PA for donating supplies and advice for the the construction of our Knotweed Penitentiary.
Giant supermarket for generously donating the doughnuts for our Santa Paws event that raises funds for the Pennsylvania S.P.C.A.
The Friends of West Mill Creek Park has won a Go for the Green Award! Lower Merion Township’s Environmental Advisory Council has given us this award to recognize the ecological and educational benefits of our Wildlife and Respite Garden to the Township and our work in creating and maintaining the garden. The Go for the Green Awards program will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Appleford Estate, located at 770 Mt. Moro Road in
Villanova, beginning at 6 p.m. If you haven’t seen Appleford, it’s a lovely historic house and garden, well worth a visit in its own right. Anyone who would like to attend is welcome to come and cheer us on.
And that brings to mind that gardening season is here! If you are interested in being on the Wildlife Garden watering team or garden team, please send an email to email@example.com and specify watering, gardening, or both. This will not commit you to anything—it will just put you on the list of people who will receive email regarding appeals for watering, weeding or planting help in the garden. This way, we will not be bothering people who don’t want to participate in ongoing maintenance with garden-related email.
Note: When the need arises for a big work day, such as an invasive plant removal project on the stream bank, we will notify the entire membership.
Under existing township ordinances, for public safety reasons, the park is open from sunrise to sunset only, so as soon as it begins to get dark you should finish up your conversations and leave the park. However, the police have assured us that they will use discretion, and give us a little leeway on getting out of the park.
It is illegal to park on the grass. Parking on the grass will eventually degrade and ruin the attractive green space which the park provides. In addition, there are environmental issues relating to toxic fluids that drip out of cars while parked, especially because of our location next to Mill Creek
It is illegal to park on Mill Creek Road. Parking on Mill Creek Road is dangerous, both to the cars and drivers parked there and to people leaving the parking lot. Cars parked there block the view of oncoming traffic.
On Saturday, December 12, Santa Paws once again visited our park. He posed for pictures with our dogs and gave a biscuit and a tennis ball to each good pup. Hot cocoa, cookies, and doughnuts were available for the humans, and a good time was had by all. Most important of all, the event raised well over $500 for the Pennsylvania S.P.C.A. Thanks to all who participated for your enthusiasm and generosity!
P.S. you will be glad to know that Santa Paws got a well-earned vacation and is now believed to be cruising the Caribbean. THANKS SANTA PAWS for appearing at WMC Park!
Our hardy garden volunteers worked hard to keep the garden going in a drought-filled summer and fall season. We had a great watering team that sprang into action every time Mother Nature fell down on the job, and the fact that almost every one of our 5 trees, 48 shrubs, and 650 newly planted perennials not only lived but flourished shows the success of their efforts. Thank you Watermeister Mark Wassmansdorf, and team Chris Bushnell, Michelle Detwiler, Bobby Harmelin, Karen Hinckley, Toba Spector, and Ellen Briggs.
Also thanks to our planters and weeders who came out for our three late summer and fall work days and donated a total of 31 hours of work, not to mention their expertise and good humor: Paula Burns, Celeste DeBeese, Michelle Detwiler, Mary Field, Meredith Greenbaum, Karen Hinckley, Martha Lombardo, Ellen Reese, Ellen Briggs, Peter Briggs, and Stephen Briggs.
Progress! We are happy to report that our advocacy with the Township for trail improvements has resulted in a successful fix to the (formerly) boggiest part of the trail. The Township installed two French drains and improved the trail with crushed stone and stone dust in response to request. This was our members’ number one wish according to the 2015 Member Survey, and so far the trail has been clean and dry through several major rain events. Thank you Dave DeAngelis and the Township crew!
Wildlife and Respite Garden. Throughout 2015 volunteers continued to plant and maintain the Wildlife and Respite Garden. This year we have added about 650 groundcover and other perennial plants.
Parking Lot. We have had several meeting with the Township about parking lot improvements and Township crews have already implemented some of our requests: first, a fence to keep cars from slipping over the streambank, and some asphalt near the entrance to smooth the ride into the lot.
On November 15, we celebrated our 2015 Active Members (all those people who donated time, talent, or financial support to Friends of WMC Park, during the current year). It was a fun time, especially because we all got to meet the significant others of many of our regulars. Thanks everyone for coming!! P.S. We made every effort to invite every Active Member — we did have to straighten out a couple of record keeping mistakes, so for future reference, always remember to speak up if need be.