21 Jul Summer 2021 Stewardship Update
The Summer is halfway over and we have been busy in the Park with volunteers and an increased staff presence. While stewardship volunteer numbers are still down about 30% compared to 2019, we surpassed 2020 metrics long ago, now having nearly doubled last year’s numbers. And we still have a few months of work left!
One thing we have tried out this year are micro-projects in the Park, the first of which was renovating the Goethe Monument gardens. We partnered with the residents of Commonwealth Plaza Condominiums, who contributed to the project along with the offices of Alderpersons Michelle Smith (43rd Ward) and Tom Tunney (44th Ward). The garden beds had deteriorated and required some new plants and an influx of weeding time to freshen up the area. The Conservancy purchased native plants (Penstemon, Monarda, etc.) and transplanted daylilies from other areas of the Park and laid down mulch with volunteers from Commonwealth. Since the project’s start in early June, Commonwealth volunteers have maintained the space, watering and weeding as needed, and the garden looks immensely better and cared for. As we enter Fall, we will assess the garden’s planting needs and install new plants, keeping in mind possibilities for Spring.
Conservancy volunteers also helped to weed and cull back the lilies around the Deming Underpass gardens earlier in the season. The group added more natives to the attractive lily beds — the new plants were dedicated in honor of long-time Conservancy volunteer and supporter Matthew Cook. We will continue to maintain this historic Park feature in Matthew’s memory and for the enjoyment of Park visitors.
If you want to get involved in gardening, we host volunteers every Saturday through North Pond Gardeners, two Thursdays per month through Hops & Habitat, and welcome corporate and community groups for weekday or weekend service opportunities. So if you need to get your hands dirty, or know a group that is feeling that gardening itch, please reach out to Aaron Hammond to discuss stewardship opportunities.