Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For 100-Year-Old Trees and Months-Old Mud: Panhandle Park Stewards Want You

Photo: Dale Danley
Encroaching mud on Panhandle's mixed-use path

The Panhandle Park Stewards invite NOPA neighbors and park lovers to help reclaim parts of the multi-use path sludged over with mud and sprouting with weeds this Saturday, March 13th. "With a little maintenance work, we can get back parts of the path that have disappeared," said Dale Danley, a NOPA resident who leads the neighborhood efforts to care for the park. "With all the use the path is getting - and with even more expected this summer - we can use every inch of it for more cyclists, runners, and walkers."

Photo: Dale Danley
Winter rains and saturated soil topple one big eucalyptus in the Panhandle

In addition to the busy Panhandle Path, the Park Stewards will also work with the gardener assigned to the eastern half of Panhandle Park to care for the historic trees in the area. Danley notes that California celebrates Arbor Day this week, and the Panhandle is a prime location for caring for and learning about a large variety of trees. "The big, old trees in the Panhandle, several more than a hundred years old, need some care to stay healthy," he said. "A lot of people come out to the monthly work parties to do just that - work - but this month, for Arbor Day, we'll take some time and learn something about the trees."

Danley urges volunteers to bring a tree book or a phone with Internet to help the group identify some of the trees. "We'll focus on the area between Lyon Street and Central Avenue and compare what we find with a tree survey* of the Panhandle completed 40 years ago." And, he advises, wear sturdy shoes and clothes and expect to get a bit muddy. "The rains of the past month have saturated the soil, and a few trees have fallen as a result." But don't let the muddy paths stop you, Danley is sure everyone will have an experience in the park they won't forget.

The Panhandle Park Stewards gather the second Saturday of every month. For more information on the volunteer effort, check the blog that Danley started in January to document the neighborhood's involvement with park issues.

* Trees of the Panhandle, Elizabeth McClintock and Virginia Moore. Published by the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Miscellaneous Paper No. 1, 1965.

Check today's post at Panhandle Park Stewards for history of neighborhood involvement with a safe and clean park, provided by Mary Helen Briscoe, a long-time community activist and Panhandle advocate. (Thank you, Mary Helen, for your years of dedication and service).

Saturday, March 13th
Meet at 9 am @ the playground/bulletin board (where Ashbury intersects)
Work till noon, snack provided.
More information: dale987@gmail.com

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