Feed the trees! Help spread mulch this Sunday, 12/14, 9 AM to 1 PM

How to volunteer this Sunday

Meet by the shed in the park where Regent Street meets 45th Street south of Chester at 9 AM this Sunday, 12/14, to spread some mulch. You can come late. We’ll probably be working until about 2 PM. After 9, just come directly to the mulch pile at 43rd and Baltimore.

Contact Doug, douglasnaphas@gmail.com or 814-880-0875, with questions.

Background

The occasion for this mulch spreading is very exciting.

We just got the big tree roots by the farmer’s market aerated! This means that tree-care professionals, Hal Rosner and Shechtman Tree Care, used an air spade to inject air into the ground around the roots. The technique alleviates soil compaction, admits air, water, and nutrients from compost, and stimulates biological activity. Cross Baltimore Tree Tenders, and the various arborists, landscape architects, and other experts who volunteer for the park, identified this work as a priority.

After an aeration is the perfect time to lay down mulch. We are putting down heaps of compost, provided by our hard-working and reliable contacts at the city, and an engineered wood fiber mulch that excels at absorbing impact.

We needed this work because the ground on the west side of the sidewalk along 43rd Street from Baltimore to Chester deals with a lot of foot traffic, due to the popularity of the park and the farmer’s market. While we’re thrilled with the park’s success, we need to do things like air spading to address the wear and tear on the soil.

Friends of Clark Park spent about $1,950, plus a catalyzing grant of $750 from Cross Baltimore Tree Tenders, on the aeration. We dedicated about another $1,600 to buy the special wood fiber mulch. This is a major and carefully considered effort for the Friends, and is exactly the type of stewardship we were organized to undertake!

Some ground will be roped off

While the nutrients from the city-donated compost seep into the aerated roots, we want to protect them from being walked on. We are roping off some of the ground on the opposite side of the sidewalk from the farmer’s market, for most of the winter.

This will not interfere with the farmer’s market. In fact, we had the Foot Trust in mind when we scheduled this project, since through the winter there are fewer vendors, so everyone can fit on the east side of the 43rd Street sidewalk.

You can find the stalwart Food Trust Clark Park farmer’s market every Saturday through the winter, same place as always, 10 AM to 2 PM. And you can look forward to rejuvenated, healthy soil come spring, and strong trees with happy roots for many generations to come!

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