Get Ready to Plant!!

Get your tools, food and bug spray ready to go!

Pete, Gary & Steve have been preparing the sites at Oatka Park for Saturday’s planting event. Here’s the latest on what’s happening as well as news about another tree planting effort along the Creek at Balonek Farms (map for Balonek project below, and maps for Saturday’s Oatka Park project see previous post!)

From the desk of Chairman Peter Lent:

Trees for Tribs Update

The tree tubes, stakes, weed mats and staples were delivered to the tree planting site yesterday morning. Al Fagan and Meg Boberg from Wyoming Co SWCD brought them up and I helped unload them and we brought them through the RR Underpass and cached them on the other side.  There will be tree tubes only for the deciduous trees (red maple and sycamore), no tubes for white pine and white cedar, or for shrubs. Our trees should be delivered on Friday I don’t know the time yet. The Wyoming Co SWCD will get the  plants from the nursery today. They will be getting close to 5,000 and they need to separate these out into the projects that they have (5 or 6 ?), including ours  and Balonek Farm. This will take some time and they plan to do this on today and Friday.
After we unloaded the supplies, Al mentioned that they were going over and deliver some supplies to Mike Balonek and I decided this would be a good time to meet him too. His trees won’t be delivered until early next week. I had the chance to explain to Mike that we had been planning to help out with his project for 2 years and still would want to help, but I couldn’t see that we could do anything until the first weekend in June. Al, or Meg or Mike (not sure which one) had heard that Kelly Emerick (Monroe Co SWCD District Manager) might be trying to arrange some planting on a weekday, but there  is nothing scheduled yet. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, it seems unlikely that something will happen before June (they will just have to keep them cool and protected in the meantime). I’ll keep everyone informed when I hear something, but for now this Saturday at Oatka Park is the most important thing we need to think about.

One of the new technicians, Josh LaFontain, at Monroe County SWCD has alerted us that he will be attending our meetings now and will also be at the tree planting at Oatka Park. This will give us an opportunity to find out more from him about Balonek farm project. I have attached a plan for the Balonek farm tree planting that Meg received from Monroe Co SWCD.

I made a presentation of the project status update at last night’s Seth Green TU Chapter Meeting in Scottsville. I had an additional 7 folks sign up and have 5 more that are likely to attend at some point but needed to check with their significant other. With the 7 we are probably at 55 volunteers now. Larry Charette is sending out an e-mail to the entire Chapter Membership today (400 +) he is asking them to show up but  I won’t be contacted so we will wait and see what happens.  I also met with the volunteer that will be working at the off-road parking area and we have a plan to park the cars. We will first park them along shoulders of the access road and then have them park up in the material storage area, which has plenty of room.  Some of the TU folks will probably park at the fishing access point off of Union Street and walk along Oatka Creek to the Planting Areas.

I  am thinking about how we will organize the work and the volunteers. Of those attending the most knowledgeable are Gary Koplun, Steve Leupold, Mark Quinn, Al Fagan, Meg Broberg, George Squires and possibly me. My plan is to divide each planting area into two sections (4 total) and have at least one of us serve in the role of a “supervisor/guide” for each section. Planting progression in each section will proceed from the creek margin north into riparian corridor, with those using the augers advancing ahead of the other volunteers. Although most volunteers will probably be there from 9 to 12, some volunteers will leave early, while other will arrive later in the morning and stay past 12, others have expressed interest in working into the afternoon. I will be there until 5. After about an hour any volunteer probably can mentor  any new folks that show up. The supervisor role would include overseeing up to 25 volunteers (100 divided by 4) and making sure plants are planted correctly and that hole prep, planting , installation of tubes/ weed mats, and watering  progresses as smoothly as possible through their section.  In the next 2 days, I’ll be dividing up the two planting areas not only into half (east and west sections) but also into planting “rows” going from south to north in each of the four sections. This will give those auguring a guide  and will ensure we are covering the area. At least these are my thoughts, within the first hour on Saturday we may be doing something completely different. But at least it’s a plan and I think I can get it on paper so I can share with “section chiefs” and those doing the auguring. I plan on being at the site 7:30 Saturday Morning and we can get together sometime before 8:30 and discuss coordination. Any thoughts in the meantime would be appreciated. If anyone is available on Friday, while we wait for the trees to arrive, we can try and get some of the supplies distributed to some of the planting sections. I will be bringing a wheelbarrow.

One other thing (at least for now) in order to not cause too much disturbance to Oatka Creek, early on we should identify one single spot for each of the 4 sections where we can safely enter the water and  fill buckets for watering the plants. If possible these locations should have vegetation on the banks and not bare soil or mud. Probably, early on we should see who has the best boots and assign them to go into stream and fill the buckets and hand them off to other volunteer s on the banks this would limit the times the edge of the stream bank gets disturbed and will reduce damage to vegetation cover.

That’s all for now. Got to mow my grass.

Thank you for all your help.

Balonek Project

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