Letter to the Editor: Restoration activities continue apace at Pastorius Park.

by Tracy Gardner
Posted 11/11/21

Since April, Friends of Pastorius Park (FoPP) volunteers have tirelessly cleared invasive plants, weeded, slung mulch, established new planting beds, and planted new native shrubs in the pilot  restoration location at the Roanoke Street and West Abington Avenue entrance to the park.

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Letter to the Editor: Restoration activities continue apace at Pastorius Park.

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Since April, Friends of Pastorius Park (FoPP) volunteers have tirelessly cleared invasive plants, weeded, slung mulch, established new planting beds, and planted new native shrubs in the pilot 

restoration location at the Roanoke Street and West Abington Avenue entrance to the park.

Most recently, FoPP’s ongoing restoration efforts were substantially advanced by enthusiastic volunteers from the Wissahickon Garden Club and the Garden Club of  Philadelphia. As part of the Garden Club of America initiative of Olmsted 200, “Parks: Where Nature Meets Community,” the Garden Club of Philadelphia (GCP) partnered with the Wissahickon Garden Club (WGC) to help with FoPP’s projects at Pastorius Park. (Olmsted 200 is the 200th anniversary in 2022 of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, social reformer and founder of American landscape architecture.)

These two local garden clubs did a phenomenal amount of work in just a couple of days, transforming the park area off Millman St. from an overgrown mass of invasive and entangled plants to an open grove of mature canopy trees. Further volunteer clearing of planned Area 2 (off Lincoln Dr. park entrance) with the help of Rob Fleming and William Hitchings (“Hitch”) really opened up this jungly part of the park. WGC and GCP volunteers also weeded and mulched in the amphitheater, and planted three new Chinese hemlocks in new planting beds adjacent to the warming hut.

Making this amount of headway towards FoPP restoration ambitions for Pastorius Park was, just a few years ago, unimaginable. But volunteerism is up and growing at our park, spurred by excitement over the improvements of this spring’s amphitheater renovation, and new tree and shrub planting. The counsel and direction of Paul Meyer (retired head of Morris Arboretum) and Rob Fleming (landscape architect and historian) in all this is indispensable. If there is a volunteer event at the park, they are both in the thick of it. For hours.

In Spring 2022, FoPP will have a new member of our team, James McNabb, overseeing and assisting volunteers once a week until November in maintaining newly-created planting beds by

knocking back invasive plants, as well as clearing new areas for future planting. FoPP is looking for healthy retired people willing to spend 2 to 3 hours (9 am to noon) on a designated weekday working with James. Even if FoPP gains a stable of just six such volunteers next spring this will go a long way towards making our Pastorius Park restoration goals a reality. If you would like to get involved and volunteer for this important work to restore our park for future generations please go to our website at friendsofpastorius.org, and contact us.

Tracy Gardner, President

Friends of Pastorius Park

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