Join us for a report on our accomplishments during the past year and plans for the year ahead, followed by a fascinating talk on the ecology of our Park by Master Naturalist and Friends of WMC member Michelle Detwiler. Light refreshments and a chance to chat with your fellow dog-parkers will conclude the meeting.
SADLY, SANTA PAWS’S ELVES HAVE CANCELED HIS APPEARANCE DUE TO RAIN AND FOG. THIS EVENT WAS IN SUPPORT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA SPCA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO THE PSPCA ANYWAY, GO TO OUR FRIENDS OF WEST MILL CREEK PARK FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE DONATION LINK.
P.S. PSPCA HAS OBTAINED MATCHING FUNDS FOR ALL DONATIONS THROUGH DECEMBER 31 — !
Join us for a holiday lunch at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, 60 Greenfield Ave, Ardmore, at 12:00 pm. Everyone pays their own tab, so you can feel free to order whatever you want, be it a lot or a little. It’s a great chance to get to know your fellow (human) denizens of the dog park better, and compare notes on our favorite canines! If you did not get our E-vite email, you can RSVP through the Contact Us page on this website. Tell us your name and how many people are coming.
Please join us for our annual Fall planting day! The fabulous Lower Merion Parks crew will plant trees and shrubs that we have purchased with member donations, while our volunteers weed and plant perennials. All plantings are designed to enhance park ecology and beauty — as well as lessen the amount of mud we have to contend with. Bring work gloves and a trowel if you have one (we do have extras if you forget). Light refreshments will be provided.
|FOUR PAWS ($150 or more)|
|Peter and Ellen Briggs|
|Maria and Ken Pollack|
|Ellen Reese and Gary Stein|
|Barbara, Dan, Katy & Sam Yody|
|THREE PAWS ($100 to $149)|
|Diana and Lawrence Alpert|
|Yair and Judy Argon|
|Gary and Linda Dorey-Stein|
|Karen and Joan Garbeil|
|Michael and Selina Hoessly|
|Nora and Barry Kramer|
|Beth and David Mark|
|Karl and Dori Middleman|
|John Bryan III and Nancy Winkler|
|TWO PAWS ($50 to $99)|
|Judy and Art Axelrod|
|Mary and Iain Black|
|Glenn and Jennifer Cooper|
|Robby and Judy Freeman|
|Jay and Marya Margolis|
|Craig and Cary Sellers|
|Helene Feinberg Walker|
|Rick and Karen Wilson|
|ONE PAW (up to $49)|
|Lars Pace and Michelle Detwiler|
|David and Christine Hartzell|
|Hank and Barbara Holmes|
|Mary Anne Sheldon|
This year, member comments centered on trail improvement, mud issues, planting, hygiene and preservation of the grassy areas. Here are all the comments we received and our response:
Q#1: What projects do you think should be undertaken for the future?
Trail improvement: “Removing large pieces of gravel and finding more paw friendly alternatives”
Our response: We will continue to work with the Township on trail issues. With respect to the large less comfortable stones on the path at the far side of the park, the Township has found that trying to finish off paths using the fine gravel works on level paths but does not work on slopes, where gullies develop. We are exploring viable alternatives. Meanwhile, we have found that for humans, shoes with thicker soles help—and the dogs are free to go where they please!
Mud Problem/Planting Plans: “Center area of mucky water—plant?” ** “Less mud!” ** “Putting down stones or mulch to get rid of the mud.” ** “Mud control in far end of park near boardwalk” ** “Continue the good work on flooding & planting.” **
Our response: One of our top priorities is to continue ongoing planting efforts to reduce mud, replace tree cover, and enhance the wildlife habitat. We plan to continue our planting program, expanding to the area around the blue Dog Park sign as well as in the wildlife garden, riparian areas, and the boggy areas. We will seek out expert ecological advice on use of mulch and stones/gravel to reduce mud.
Hygiene/Grass Preservation: ** “Protection of the grassy areas.” ** “Small signs advising people to stay on the path except for poop pick-up. I’m thinking of a few signs along pathway such as “keep off the grass” signs you see around town. I believe many people come to the park who do not belong to our association and may or may not adhere to our rules and may or may not have off-leash permits for their dogs. I’ve heard people say they think they don’t need to clean up poop when it’s up on the hill or in the middle of the meadow. They do! But a little signage might reinforce rules to non-members and casual drop-in visitors.”
Our response: Good suggestions, which will be considered. FYI we consider the addition of signage something of a balancing act. The up side of signage is that it may influence behavior in a good direction; the down side is that signage tends to undermine one of our main missions which is to preserve the natural atmosphere of the park. Our experience with park signage to date suggests that its effectiveness is less that one would hope.
Amenities: “Dog water fountain and rinsing station” ** “trash can deeper in the park”
Our response: As always, when it comes to park amenities we try to balance member need, the cost and maintenance burden on the township, and our goal of maintaining the wild, “walk in the woods” feel of our park. At this time, our thinking is a more minimalist approach on such conveniences best fulfills our mission.
Q#2: Any other comments or thoughts you would like us to consider?
“Although I don’t have a dog, I support the park’s promotion of and use of native plants.” ** “Love the park and love the improvements, including the respite garden and memorial trunk.” ** “It’s a wonderful park!” ** “Thank you!” ** “Keep up the great work!” ** “Keep up the good work—well done on improving the park!” ** “Thanks for running the park.” ** ”Thanks for all you do!!” ** “Thank you for creating and maintaining a lovely respite for humans and hounds!” ** “We absolutely love the creek! Thank You.
Our response: Thanks for the positive feedback—it keeps us energized!
Please join us in the battle against invasive Japanese Knotweed! Our battle plan consists of cutting down the plant at ground level, loading it onto tarps or into a dumpster provided by the Township. Long sleeves, long pants and work-ready shoes are a MUST. Water and Kind bars will be provided.
Join us to help plant perennials at the Park! Bring work gloves and a trowel if you have one, and come and go as you please. Water and Kind Bars will be provided.
Calling all volunteers to help us renew the wood chip path in the Wildlife Garden at the park entrance. All we need to do is fill wheelbarrows from the wood chip pile near the lower gate and spread them along the path to make a nice, springy, water-absorbing trail. No gardening knowledge required this time! Come and go as you please — every barrow-full helps!
We’ll have a quick recap of projects completed in 2018, plans for 2019, and thank yous to our volunteers–then on to our speaker, Marsha Perelman, who give a presentation entitiled “Beyond Shelters.” Marsha is a nationally known animal welfare advocate and will talk to us about current legal and other creative efforts to improve the lives of dogs and other companion animals. Refreshments and a chance to chat with your fellow dog park friends will follow. Please join us!