Thursday, May 28, 2015

South Schuylkill Garden Club Bank Restoration

South Schuylkill Garden Club members over the last few weeks have been busying themselves with the restoration landscaping at the eastern end of a bank of ground behind the Schuylkill Haven Recreation and Senior Center. The formal landscaping is an effort to beautify and support he integrity of the bank.

Club members have been working on this project under the skilled direction of Master Gardner Jane Kruse who is a member of the South Schuylkill Garden Club. Jane states that one of the objectives of the Garden Club is to “make a difference in our Community” and “to work and cooperate with other organizations to improve quality of life through conservation and horticulture.” This project meets these expectations. The neighborhood wanted a more appealing area to look at. It is the hope of the club that this one small space will encourage others to take a greater pride in their neighborhood.

This project evolved through Jane’s participation on the Community Forestry Committee. This year the committee chose the Schuylkill Haven Rec Center bank as their first project to assist communities with adding or choosing trees to plant in their town. The committee was only looking at planting a portion of the bank at the far end from where the garden club is working. The tree planting is a trial project to determent he effectiveness of the venture. It is the hope that other organizations may take on the completion of the bank with wild flowers and grasses where the bank becomes steep.

The tools for this project were supplies by Ames through the National Garden Club, Inc. Ames has a one year agreement with the National Garden Club, Inc. to offer tools for community projects. The Schuylkill Haven

Beautification Project was such a worth project Ames grant the tools for this project. The tools came in very handy in digging and cultivation the soil in preparation for the retaining walls and plantings of plants and trees.

The overall project has employed the help of the following entities. This combined effort of Schuylkill Haven Borough, DCNR-PA Urban & Community Forestry Council “Tree vitalize Grant,” the Community Forestry Committee of the Schuylkill Conservancy and the South Schuylkill Garden Club, to reforest and reclaim a bank, behind the Schuylkill Haven Recreation and Senior Center that had previously been used as an old railway trestle. The composition of the soil was mainly shale, with old bricks, and invasive plants dominating the landscape. The planting, which will be multi-year project, has begun; with a “point planting,” terraced and formal plantings using native plants and is now complete. This of course has been done by the South Schuylkill Garden Club who not only supplied the labor, but also financial support to this project. Seven honey locust trees and six lilac bushes were purchased and planted at the top and bottom of the bank by members of the Schuylkill Haven Borough’s Electric and Highway Departments. Funding for these trees was made available through a “Tree Vitalize Grant.” This grant was gotten through the Urban

Community Forestry Council. The vision and efforts of the Community Forestry Committee of the Schuylkill Conservancy were integral to the project.

The South Schuylkill Garden Club will be hosting the celebration and dedication of the planting of the earthen embankment behind the Schuylkill Haven Recreation and Senior Center on Saturday, June 13 at 9AM. This dedication is to acknowledge the formal landscaping at the eastern end of the bank and tree planting on the western portion of the embankment. Both of these efforts are to beautify and support the integrity of the bank. The general public is invited to participate in this dedication along with the various organizations that make this beautification project happen.