Grounds Committee Projects: a Year in Review

Hi River Roaders,

This week’s blog is inspired from the Grounds Committee input for our 2020-2021 Annual Report. As a Committee, we made significant improvements to our grounds that I hope will make our return to RRUUC so much more enjoyable.

Katherine, Kate, and Linda made improvements to the Peace Pole Garden, adding the stones, planting Christmas Ferns, and more.

As described in previous blogs, our Springsview Garden is a joy. We added three paths, pulled lots of invasive plants, and transplanted in many native plants. The shrubs in the wire cages that we planted last year are all doing well. This is a very special space.

Every year we have tree work done, primarily to address safety issues. This year we also trimmed the trees close to the building to provide clearance (no shade) to enable potential addition of solar panels on our roof.

This week, Jan completed installation of a new pollinator garden in our front plaza. It is planted with Swamp milkweed, Mountain Mint, and Butterfly Weed. The Mountain Mint is showing signs of blooming this week. All of these plants are pollinator magnets and (hopefully) deer resistant.

Welcome to the new Fireside Patio. In the past year, Don cut down the sick holly trees, a neighbor paid to have two River Birch planted, and Deb planted the Ostrich ferns.

With the completion of our new path, we are working on improving our “curb appeal.” We have a number of amazing large trees in this front plot that were previously hidden behind smaller trees. The plan is to gradually pull the English Ivy, maintain a base of fallen leaves, and plant ferns and native perennials as a ground layer. It will take some time to clear the full area, but the end result should be really nice.

There are so many spots on our grounds that required work. Here is an example. We removed large amounts of non-native vines from the trees and ground, clearing room for the Common Milkweed shown here. Hopefully we’ll get some Monarchs this year.

All of the shrubs we planted last year along our new front path are doing well, such as these Oak Leaf Hydrangea. I’m hoping we can remove the deer cages at some point in the future, but I’m not optimistic.

Some Grounds Committee efforts are not immediately obvious, such as the removal of invasive vines from this area behind the Handicapped parking area. The under story here is very healthy, with Wingstem, Joe Pye Weed, Green Headed Coneflower, and several Goldenrods. Much thanks to Kay, Diana, Linda, Janet and others for on-going weeding efforts.

With much gratitude to the members of the Grounds Committee.