Saturday, September 22, 2012

Indian River Beautification

Volunteers at Work
We had another great event along the Indian River today.   It was the first day of fall and a team of our volunteers assembled for the first phase of our beautification effort around Indian River Bridge.   Our goal is to cleanup the planters at the four corners of the bridge and add new planting in the area around those plantings.  Eventually we hope to extend these beautifcation efforts up and down Indian River Bridge.

For today, our goal was the area around the southwest corner of the bridge, that is the eastbound approach.   The crepe myrtle in the planter was obscured by an old overgrown azalea and a web of weeds and vines.  Nine volunteers gave up much of their Saturday to tear out the overgrowth in the planter and hacking away with hoes and shovels, clear a large patch of wire grass in front of the planter.    We also tackled the wire grass in the sidewalk schemes around the planter.

Into the cleared ground we planted a pair of pink muhly grasses, a beauty berry bush, verbana, and for some immediate color seven mums.  All topped off by a layer of mulch.   As we were finishing up our work, watering the newly installed plants, we were thrilled by residents complimenting us on our new garden.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers for coming out and spending a total of 40 hours at the site.

The next work day at the next bridge corner is scheduled for Saturday, October 13.   Stay tuned for more info.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Upcoming volunteer effort at Indian River Bridge

This Saturday, September 22nd from 9:00 am to noon (perhaps longer if folks are available), for a work day around the Indian River Bridge and fall planting on the bridge approaches. We'll be clearing invasive ivy, doing some pruning, tilling, and soil preparation.   We're adjusting our plans and will probably be doing at least some actual planting on this day.  Bring work gloves, wear closed toed shoes, and dress appropriately for hands-on gardening.  Please bring gardening tools like shovels, hoes, clippers, etc.  Does anyone have a wheel barrel we can use?  (We probably will not be needing a rotor tiller).   If you can come help on this day, please respond back to this e-mail to let us know, if you haven't already.  

September Meeting - Trees of Chesapeake

Those of you who missed our meeting this past Thursday missed an excellent talk by Chesapeake Master Gardener Ed Bradley on the trees of our region.   He talked about the need to reconnect with nature and "bringing the botanical garden to the people".    The layout of nature trails built at the Chesapeake Arboretum and at ODU were detailed.  And Mr. Bradley went on at length about the potential of Indian River Park and its mature southern hardwood forest.   His brief hikes into the park identified 33 species of native trees from the American Beech to the Winged Sumac.  He sees the park as an excellent site for another nature trail as long as we select a location that does not interfere with the existing bike trail system.

Also on Friday, Rogard Ross spoke at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Clean Water Breakfast down in Great Bridge.  This was an opportunity to share the Friends of Indian River mission with other parties across Chesapeake including representatives of the Chesapeake Public Works department and Cooperative Extension Office.