Monthly Archives: April 2020

Socially Distant Arbor Day

The friends of Grant Park were very fortunate to receive 200 Quercus rubra/Red Oak saplings donated by Caterpillar, Inc.  Oaks may be the single most important tree in North America for wildlife value. However, even though April 24th was Arbor Day, no one was gathering anywhere to honor the spirit of the day, let alone plant trees.

Quercus rubra

 
The plan last Fall was to make a tree available to every one of our incredible Weed Out volunteers in Spring 2020 for planting in the areas we have managed to clear (mostly, ahem) of invasive garlic mustard and old-specie Japanese Tree Lilac.  We hoped to help make the connection as to why we even bother with the weeds.  It’s for the trees and the forest that we commit our annual spring efforts to removing invasive species; so it makes sense that we carry forward with a new generation of tree planting, right?

 
Our problem was obvious: the valuable Oaks arrived last week and we’re presented with the question: how do we spread the task of transplanting them among volunteers who have been instructed to avoid gatherings and stay at home? The answer we found: one planter or family unit at a time using printed “how-to” directions, social distancing, and masks. Several intrepid volunteers from our group agreed to plant in an area recently cleared of a dense growth of the invasive Japanese Tree Lilac which had been spreading via root systems unchecked in our original County Parks nursery for 100 years. Working independently, or as a single unit family group, transplanting was begun on April 26th. We hope to have 200 trees in the ground by May 1st.


Thank you to our family and solo units: John & Peyton; Becky, Rob, George & Peter; Pam & Dave; Betsy, Rick, Deb, Jody and Lynn for their help at this time. We are hopeful our efforts take root, and that flagging for the new small trees will help visitors to the park avoid stepping on them.  

Suburban Soles Guided Nature Hikes 2021 Calendar

Back by popular demand, Suburban Soles nature hike is ready for our fourth season. Friends of Grant Park is proud to sponsor this program, starting on Sunday, the 2nd of May, and running every 2 weeks through Sept. 19th. You can join the Sunday morning hike at 10 am. Each walk lasts about 90 minutes and may involve stairs. Consider bringing along a water bottle and/or bug spray as needed, and comfortable shoes or boots which may prove ideal when walking along muddy paths. Check the schedule for meeting location which varies from hike to hike.

These events will follow 6 ft. social distancing guidelines. Face masks are strongly encouraged. Please consider others and do not attend this event if you have any suspicion of illness or may have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

We will also post the flyer in kiosks within Grant Park.

See you on the trails!