Jaime Kirsche and Jim Abbot were the inaugural volunteers at the first-ever Whack, Yak, and Snack, which will take place every third Saturday of the month, meeting on the porch of 946 Waverly Way at 9:00 a.m.
Jaime and I got a ton done on Saturday, September 18. We worked along the sidewalk that lies between Springvale Park and Edgewood Avenue. The goal was to improve sight lines into the park, remove invasive trees, and clear the sidewalk of low-hanging limbs.
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.