July 12, 2013
week a young man, named Charles Rutagarama, contacted me with an engaging idea.
As an intern of the Mercy Works Synergy program, a nonprofit organization
located in Syracuse, New York, Charles was given $100 and charged to spend this
money in a way that would benefit other people. He had two weeks to complete
walking around Thornden Park and discussing the park’s various needs and our concerns,
Charles expressed an interest in using the money to protect and preserve newly
planted trees in the park. Over the years Thornden Park has lost over 50% of its
newly planted trees due to weather, vandalism and the weed wacker! Thornden’s
aging canopy has to be replaced if the park is to remain the green oasis that
it is today.
purchased 8 tree rings, which form a
weed barrier around trees and help hold in moisture. Tree Rings look like
hardwood mulch but are made from longer-lasting, 100% recycled rubber. A unique
manufacturing process allows water and nutrients to pass through to plant roots
while forming a barrier against weeds. The tree rings will also keep the
weed wackers at a distance! After placing 8 tree rings around newly planted
trees lining the road near the playground, Charles and I also weeded and cleared
around five other trees in the park.
Thornden Park Association is very grateful to Charles and for the Vision
Assignment that he is part of. It is our hope to match his generosity by
purchasing 8 more tree rings, thereby doubling his vision! Perhaps others will
follow Charles Rutagarama’s lead.
August 25, 2012
An amazing afternoon in over 90 degree temperatures! 40, that’s FORTY, ESF freshmen descended on Thornden Park on Saturday, August 25 to volunteer their energy and enthusiasm for three hours. Working alongside Thornden Park Association members we weeded long stretches of flowerbeds in the E. M. Mills Rose Garden.
We mulched the perennial beds at the Lily Pond. We cared for 10 newly planted trees along the football field, watering and mulching each and every one. We removed invasive growth from 5 stands of trees located around the Lily Pond.
And last but not least we removed the grass from the brick pathway leading to the Lily Pond. We finished just in time for Alexandra and Ryan on their wedding day to walk down the brick aisle and enter the land of “Happy Ever After.
July 19, 2012
Dale Avers, Ginny Fellman, Ann Gibson, Ruth Yanai and I finished weeding the beds at the Carriage House. We planted the final flat of orange impatients, though digging holes was a major challenge.
After everyone left I got Syris, one of the campers, to help me pull grass from the gravel driveway - no mean task! As children started arriving Syris encouraged them to join in the effort. Knowing Syris, he will have the driveway done by the end of the day!
Water request: If you are out on errands please consider driving by the Madison Street flower beds with a bucket of water for the newly planted annuals. If they look watered give the water to some of our very stressed shrubs.
2012 Volunteers: Sigma Lambda Alpha, Orange Seeds, Tim Rice, Phil DeMocker, Lyn Simmer, Miranda Hine, Frank Forward, Paul Aviles, Grace Flusche, Marilyn Zaleon, Ellen Somers, Kevin Doupe, Dale Avers, Jeanette Mattson, Gary Avers, Dan Sanders, Carol Simson, Karen Hill, Ginny Fellman, Ruth Yanai, Ann Gibson
(July 15) Ellen Somers, Marilyn Zaleon and I finished weeding the beds at the Madison Street entrance to the park and started clearing the 5 foot weeds at the Carriage House. We also planted two more flats of impatients before we ran out of steam in the heat. Pink and purple impatients at Madison and orange at the Carriage House.
While working at the Carriage House I was reminded of the long, hard slog The Thornden Park Associate had to save that building and what a gem it is today. The Shakespeare camp just finished, and the Thornden Park Discovery Camp starts today and will run for the next three weeks. Two weeks are full with a waiting list and the last week (for Pre-K, K and Grade 1) has only two openings. So those people who argued that we were wasting money and that the building would never be used were WRONG. It is such a lovely space. Dan Reeder's landscaping was the last part of the restoration at this site and it was worth every penny.