ST&BF at the CF&G: Third Annual Earth Day Restoration Project!

ST&BF at the CF&G: Third Annual Earth Day Restoration Project!

A hard-working and enthusiastic group of cancer patients/survivors and caregivers took part in our Third Annual “Earth Day Restoration Project” at the Christopher Farm & Gardens on Friday, April 21st!

This is the third year of this on-going project that brings cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors together to, literally and figuratively, make the earth a better place! Already, we are seeing the fruits of our labor!

(See PDF below for related photo) CF&G staff members Rob (2nd from right) and Robyn (far right) explain the objectives for the day that included the planting of native plants and trees and the removal of invasives. Or “In with the good. Out with the bad.”

For the past three years this “Earth Day” project has focused on an area of the property known as the Turkey Trot trail. Robyn Jacobchick, Director of Education & Visitor Experience at The Christopher Farm & Gardens, explains:

“The plan and vision for the Turkey Trot trail area is to reintroduce native plants, to recreate the ecosystem that once thrived there. During this most recent workday we planted trees such as Red Oaks & Birches, as well as shrubby plants like Nine Barks, Snow Berries and Button Bushes. The vision is that these parent plants will grow to reproduce, and that open field will be dotted with natives once again, which can then be used as an educational opportunity to talk about why it is important and helpful to remove invasive species and reintroduce native plants!”

(See PDF below for related photo) Rob & Robyn demonstrate the recommended root tree planting technique.

(See PDF below for related photo) Candy Meyer and Colleen Dunn are making the world a better place!

(See PDF below for related photo) Members of our Local Cancer Community spend a day working (or playing) in the dirt!

After planting more than sixty trees and several dozen plants and shrubs, we removed some invasives. Robyn explains, “The group worked to remove an invasive vine called Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). It is native to East Asia and was sold primarily as an ornamental addition to landscaping, but it is aggressive, tolerates both high sun and deep shade, and it can quickly climb and girdle a tree or other nearby, native plants.”

(See PDF below for related photo) Survivors and co-survivors worked hard removing invasive Asiatic Bittersweet by hand in an effort to reduce the use of chemical herbicides.

(See PDF below for related photo) In less than an hour, participants removed this mound of invasives! As the saying goes, “Many hands make for light work!”

(See PDF below for related photo) A “win-win” opportunity! Survivors and co-survivors provide a bit of labor to help the gardens while the CF&G teaches them various skills and techniques they can use in their own yards, while also being a part of a project that will live on and grow for many generations!

Rob, Robyn, Erika, and the entire CF&G staff have provided many lessons to us over the years. Before our work was done, Rob and Robyn took one more opportunity to educate us on another method to plant trees. Afterwards, Robyn explained, “The reason that we demonstrated planting a few of the bare root trees in cloth planters was to give them a chance to grow their roots a bit more over the course of this first year while they are in those planters. Bare root trees (like the ones we planted earlier in the day) are easier to produce, buy and transport. But allowing them to grow another year in a planter like that gives them time to establish a bigger root base before going in the ground, which increases their chance of survival.”

(See PDF below for related photo) Earth Day Restoration Project participants enjoy a well-deserved lunch!

If you are interested in being a part of these kinds of activities in conjunction with the Christopher Farm & Gardens, you need not wait until next year’s Earth Day. See below articles for details (or contact Tim).

Related articles:

“Project Tweety Bird” Offers a Thriving Environment for Bluebirds AND Area Cancer Patients/Survivors (from the previous issue):

Daisy Days - Helping Mother Earth & Cancer Survivors Heal (from 2022):

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