The 2019 Fall Tree Sale was another stunning success for the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards. Thirty volunteers set up shop early on Saturday, October 12, at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm. By mid-afternoon they had sold 266 trees and brought in $2,298 in total receipts. CATS also provided customers with multiple opportunities to learn about identifying, planting, and caring for trees. William Hamersky, chair of the CATS Education Committee, staffed a booth with educational materials and displays, while at an adjoining table Allen Ingling offered tips on planting and protecting young trees. In addition, Tom Wild and Tim Maywalt led two tree walks around the Tufton grounds.
The Tree Stewards hit the ground running this fall. The activities began Friday, September 20, when Phil Stokes led 13 Tree Stewards and Tree Steward Trainees as they mulched, pruned, and removed invasive plants in a natural area across from the north wing of the Barracks Road Shopping Center. It was a record number of volunteers for a work day on this site at a trailhead for the Rivanna Trail. The following day, at Charlottesville’s Meadowcreek Park (behind Bodo’s Bagels on Emmet Street), a group of CATS gathered to clear English ivy from tree trunks along the disc golf course. Visitors will now enjoy healthier trees as they pursue healthy activities in the park. Then on Wednesday, September 25, CATS teams coordinated community volunteers at three locations during the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way’s annual Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring. On U.Va.’s North Grounds, a work crew led by Kendra Hall and Camille Wilson cleared English ivy and other vines from trees along Massie Road. At the Ivy Creek Natural Area, Phil Stokes again took the lead as a work crew cleaned up invasives in the bird-watching area. And across town along the northernmost stretch of the Rivanna River Trail, a small army of volunteers led by Chris Gensic removed vines and cut down huge swaths of bamboo, opening vistas to the river and freeing up trees from an aggressive nonnative competitor. The workers were rewarded with a sumptuous lunch served by VFW Post 1827.
Monday, August 26, was a long but productive day for the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards. Beginning at 9 a.m., CATS members began cutting large swaths of invasive bamboo along the Rivanna River Trail, opening up vistas to the water adjacent to the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on River Road. Led by Chris Gensic, park and trail planner for the City of Charlottesville, the project continued into the afternoon after a revitalizing lunch provided by the VFW. Volunteers from U.Va.’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy then pitched in to strip leaves from the bamboo poles and haul them away for public use.