To the supporters of the Friends of Waterford Park:
As we write this spring membership letter, the park is glorious. The dogwood, viburnum and redbuds are in bloom, spring wildflowers are blooming and birds are returning to nest.
The woods is in better shape than ever. You donated $4,300 to have piles of brush and damaged trees removed, and what a difference it has made. We were able to get a discounted price from the contractor because we were providing him a substantial amount of winter work.
The worker bees are clearing honeysuckle, wineberry, etc. from the understory; we began last fall at the east end of the woods toward Rt. 15. Hopefully by this time next year we will have worked on the entire understory..
The contractor planted the roughly 140 new trees slated for the park as part of the City grant funds. We water some; the contractor does most of that work.
Seed has been purchased to revitalize the central portion of the meadow. Donnie Rohrback of MD DNR will plant that seed as soon as the ground is dry enough for his equipment.
Kevin Jaramillo is planning his Eagle Scout project: two mulched paths through the woods. This will be completed soon. We hope to also put a path through the meadow.
The shared use path is behind schedule because the complicated permits process took longer than anticipated; however, the path WILL come from Baker Park to Waterford, hopefully later in 2015.
In addition to the regular worker bee tasks, our project for 2015 is to treat ash trees to prevent their demise from emerald ash borer (EAB). This insect is in the county and will surely kill all ashes in this area within a few years. Working with the City, MD DNR and licensed contractors, we have identified 24 ashes that are worth saving with an approximate 2015 treatment cost of $3,400. Some have poor growth structure so we will cut those. Ashes are marked with white paint, and all but the largest of those that we will treat have pink tape with the dollar amount needed to treat each tree. Will you consider “adopting a tree”? We will also need funds to cut trees that are not to be treated, and the treatments must be repeated in two years. We hope to build a reserve in our “ashes” fund for these future needs. We hope that when you read the enclosed Management Statement you will become a part of the effort to save our ashes. We have received $1,000 in grant funds from two State sources as well as several donations and pledges so we are off to a very good start.
Our other large project is to become Friends of Waterford Park, Inc., and to obtain 501c3 charitable designation. Until that process is completed, donations and dues will continue to be made to The Friends of Baker Park. We are grateful for their support as our fiscal agent.
Friends of Waterford Park has thrived since 2005. The state again this year awarded us the “Green” designation in the PLANT program (People Loving and Nurturing Trees). This designation usually goes to entities that have paid staff. Member dues and donations along with funds from state and federal grants have enabled our all-volunteer group to make a huge difference in the park. We hope that you will continue to support our efforts.
Friends of Waterford Park Board of Directors
Karen Berkheimer Morton