FWP Removes Invasives and Welcomes Friends (December 2007)

FWP Removes Invasives and Welcomes Friends – published in Monocacy-Catoctin-Watershed-Alliance-Newsletter

Activities for the Friends of Waterford Park (FWP) have focused primarily on removing invasives and enjoying indoor activities in the colder winter weather. Located in a flood plain, the park is bounded on the east by Route 15 (between the Rosemont Avenue and Route 40 exits) and on the west by Baughman’s Lane. The park is actually two small parks: Rock Creek Park and Waterford Park. The park’s goal, approved by the city, is to develop a tranquil park setting where people can enjoy animal life and a diversity of plant species native to MD.

One of the cooler weather projects has been in anticipation of the next planting season. Hardy workers have been clearing dead invasives from the park. Sprayed by the MD Department of Natural Resources, grapevines and multiflora rose have been identified and removed to make way for spring planting of native species. Gone too are areas of ailanthus. Funded by Frederick City and FWP and completed by an area arborist, this project involved removing almost two dozen large ailanthus that had been sprayed in 2005 on the north side of the park. Additionally, about a dozen medium-size ailanthus and numerous six to eight feet sprouts are now wood chips at the entrance to the park along Baughman’s Lane.

In November the group met to share priorities for the park to determine projects for the 2008 season. Projects earning consensus include the following: re-seeding with additional wildflowers the experimental meadow planted last summer, maintaining the butterfly garden and the donor trees, and continuing to remove invasives and replace them with native species.

December’s project with a holiday theme was the preparation of treats for the park’s resident birds. Volunteers prepared suet tarts, pine cones laden with peanut butter and seed, and “garland” of popcorn, dried fruit, and cranberries. The park’s donor trees were decorated with the treats with the hope that the birds would enjoy their fair share before the squirrels discovered the park’s seasonal decorations.

While volunteers look forward to the spring and the projects they’ve agreed will enhance the park, they’re enjoying the seasonal hiatus from labor and, as weather permits, taking brisk strolls through the park’s winter landscape. If you are interested in helping with the spring activities, please contact Ginny Brace, president of FWP, at info@friendsofwaterfordpark.org or 240.353.7303.