Grounds Report – June 2016

This year’s April 30th Spring Work Party was a huge success with a turnout of more than 60+ dedicated adult volunteers and an impressive number of youngsters of all ages.  They planted their hearts out!

Key to the large turnout was due in part to a community doorbelling campaign organized into four assigned Blue Ridge neighborhoods and carried out by volunteers Jane Johnson, Cookie Peterson, Candis Litsey, and Linda and Michael Brooks.  Plants and materials were procured by Don Peterson, our longtime dedicated Blue Ridge maintenance contractor.

The Work Party day began for our volunteers at the clubhouse with refreshments furnished by Candice Litsey and her team.  The volunteer’s work choice sign-up sheets were distributed, and a brief explanation of projects planned for the Woodbine Playfield and the Beach Park was led by Michael and Linda.   Volunteers grabbed tools, work gloves, sunscreen and headed out.

Master Gardner Jane Johnson guided the planting of approximately 100 trees, shrubs and three varieties of ferns by her team of hardworking volunteers that had been previously staked by Linda and Michael.

This planting effort was accomplished in less than three-hours!  These efforts completed the finishing touches to a multi-year program to transform and upgrade the slope areas that surround this valuable community asset. The final planned element for the Woodbine Playfield will take place later this summer.  Existing outdated play equipment will be removed and replaced with relocation of the existing swing set and installation of an entirely new expansive play structure system.  This will be possible thanks to endless work by the Roland and Kristina Christmas volunteer team and generous contributions made by many Blue Ridge residents that was supplemented with additional funds allocated by the Blue Ridge Board.

Meanwhile down at the Beach Park, Linda guided an extensive installation effort involving over 200 plants. These were carefully planted by the volunteers at previously installed color-coded stake locations.   They included ornamental grasses, perennials, flowering shrubs, roses, and hopefully sunflowers from seeds.  Due to inadequate soil conditions left by the CSO project, sand, rock and crushed concrete had to be removed and replaced with compost and topsoil before actual planting could proceed (a big headache!)  All the plants were then carefully installed throughout the remainder of the morning.  The result was a much improved planting scheme over that left by CSO.  It wonderfully transformed and upgraded the Beach Park’s exterior.  We truly thank each and every adult and youngster for their hard work.

Simultaneously, valuable work was also taking place just inside the Beach Park’s gate by our “A-team” of volunteers led by longtime work party asset, Ryan Carlisle, together with his family members and friends.  They transformed the old Beach Park’s “trash can corral” into a completely new structure that doubled the park’s garbage can capacity.  It can now be accessed by a much safer newly installed wooden walkway and handrail system.  These dedicated constructors worked throughout the morning and into the afternoon; they would not even stop to participate in our traditional work party clubhouse luncheon put on by Candis Litsey and her volunteer team!  A delicious lunch followed by “killer” brownies!  (Ryan sent one of his team members to the clubhouse to obtain sufficient sustenance to continue their work to completion that afternoon.)  The result was a true volunteer “work of art” that should be visited and admired by all Blue Ridge Beach Park users.

We want to thank all those who could not join us but generously sent checks to help offset work party expenses.  Any additional contributions would still be gratefully accepted by the Blue Ridge Club.

All of this year’s generous volunteer achievements provided for me a very much appreciated high point that adds to many such wonderful memories during my six years as Grounds Chair on the Blue Ridge Board.

Mike Brooks

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