On the morning of Friday, June 10, a capable crew of Inman Park neighbors, together with some Trees Atlanta recruits, rallied in support of Springvale Park.
The goal was to remove invasive Japanese chaff flower and to thin out some of the saplings that are threatening to turn Springvale Park into a jungle.
Thanks go to Sandi and Kevin Curry, Karen Heim, Alan Hing, Nancy and Bob Morrison, Sam Prausnitz-Weinbaum, Cindy Weinbaum, Peipei Xiang, and Jim Abbot, as well as Trees Atlanta staffer Louie Lewis and his volunteers Myrtle Lewin, Jasen Johns, Grace, Nicole, and Christina.
Some of our wonderful trees along Freedom Park can now breathe a bit easier, due to the work of these fantastic volunteers! We cut and pulled vines, cleared away invasive ground cover, and even dug up some Japanese chafflower!
Thank you as always to our partner Trees Atlanta, represented today by forest restoration specialist Alyssa Killingsworth.
Inman Park Tree Watch has been working with Trees Atlanta and the IPNA Springvale Park Committee to restore the natural half of Springvale Park, lying south of Euclid Avenue, to a healthy condition.
The project is being funded by the Inman Park Neighborhood Association, Springvale Park Committee, and the Trolley Barn.
By summer 2018, invasive trees, shrubs, and vines had become rampant throughout the forest:
The plan to remove these invasive plants calls for five to six volunteer projects in addition to high density professional herbicide treatment of the ground layer.
The first workday was held in September 2018. Volunteers pulled up Japanese chaff flower, a perennial which tends to form dense monocultures capable of shading and outcompeting native plant species.
In October, November, and December, students in a Forest Stewardship workshop being conducted by Trees Atlanta did work in the park, including cutting English ivy from some of the towering hardwoods in Springvale.
On January 26, 2019, we attacked woody invasives including Carolina cherry laurel, leatherleaf mahonia, thorny olive, bush honeysuckle, Chinese privet, and southern magnolia:
Meanwhile, preparations are being made for the eradication of English ivy and creeping liriope or monkey grass from the forest floor:
So, in sum, steady progress is being made toward our goal of a healthy, beautiful, and more usable Springvale Park:
Already appearing from underneath the choking layers of invasive plants are gems like this white oak seedling:
Once invasive plants are removed and a plan is in place to prevent their return, we will be planting new shrubs and trees in the park. Interestingly, we are fortunate to have, for consulting, the 1903 plans formulated by the Olmsted Brothers firm, at the request of Joel Hurt:
The next volunteer workday will take place on Saturday, February 16, 9:00 AM to noon.
Tree Watch member Ken Taber likes to call the overgrown, neglected corners of Inman Park — with their tangles of wisteria, privet, leatherleaf mahonia, thorny olive, tree of heaven, and other invasive plants — “snarls.” They look something like this:
And for physical activity, Ken likes nothing better than charging his battery-powered chainsaw and strapping on the holster of his handsaw for an afternoon of reducing Inman Park’s snarl problem.