The Gordon Avenue library hosted a Teen Volunteer Fair from 2– 4 PM on Saturday, August 5th. Tim Maywalt, Kathy Nepote, Anne Benham, and Gregg Korbon staffed the table and provided information and Tootsie Roll Pops to local teens and parents seeking community volunteer opportunities. Tree walks, planting/pruning/invasive removal work parties, and tree classes were described and nine teens signed up for our email list. Several more individuals said they would visit the CATS website for future events, and would plan to attend those of interest.
A new, hands-on activity joined the usual tabling materials and seemed to capture the teen’s attention: a model, wire tree in need of pruning. Teens and parents who could identify four branches in need of pruning (of 12) received a prize – an individually wrapped prune. This was no ordinary prune, however. In teen campfire tradition, the prune is known as an ancient symbol of wisdom. Wrinkles are a sign of wisdom (especially in CATS members) and nothing has more wrinkles than a prune. As the Prune Song goes, “We have wrinkles on our face, but a pruney has them everyplace.” Many proud teens and parents left the CATS table holding high their prunes as signs of newly acquired Pruning Wisdom. A good time was had by all as our youth outreach continues.
CATS members gathered at Chris Greene Lake to plant a total of 26 trees around the lake area. The project was the vision of and organized by Barbara White who obtained funding from the Department of Forestry.
Species included a variety of oaks, Carolina silverbells, black gums, redbuds, tulip trees and bald cypress. On March 11th fifteen CATS members planted fourteen bare rooted trees and on March 18th thirteen CATS members supported by twenty-five UVA students of the Forestry Club planted twelve containerized trees. Three or four UVA students were mentored by CATS members who explained the complexities of proper tree planting including; the steps of removing the potting material from the tree roots, correcting circling tree roots, proper siting of the trees in the holes, importance of using a slurry when filling around the roots and then stabilizing the tree in the hole. The planted trees were mulched and staked to insure that the prevailing winds wouldn’t jeopardize their rooting and were surrounded by a wire cage to protect them from deer and mowers. Saving us some of the work, park personnel augured the holes and provided the water and mulch for the trees. Once the plantings were completed, all enjoyed the provided lunch and took the opportunity to socialize. On each day, the weather cooperated and although tired at the end of the day, everyone agreed that each day was a complete success.
Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards are skilled, enthusiastic, and committed group of volunteers who tend to our local parks, public places and low tree canopy neighborhoods. We happily free mature trees from invasive vines, plant trees where their eventual canopy will be enjoyed and prune young trees.
We are thrilled to educate the public about responsible tree care, the value of trees in all environmental settings and personal safety while working outdoors. We enjoy strong and healthy professional relationships with our partner organizations and are committed to doing this work to strengthen green spaces.