Near the end of 2017, the tree planting sites at Wanlass Park were overrun by weeds and in need of some attention. This prompted our Richmond High intern group to dedicate a meeting to site maintenance and also use the opportunity to collect some important inventory data. Unfortunately is was raining, but that didn’t stop our team! Donning ponchos, they worked hard (and got dirty!).
Let’s start with maintenance – good old fashioned yard work. Most of the trees planted last year had no more mulch around them, and with all the rain we got, weeds and grasses were crowding the trunks of the trees. Other issues included broken ties, loose stakes, or ties hammered on incorrectly. Working in teams, the students were assigned several trees/planting sites to correct issues at. Each planting site was weeded, re-mulched, and the stakes and ties checked for tautness. The work was messy but rewarding and got the park looking much better!
Other students had a much less messy task – tree inventory. Tree inventories are systems used to keep track of tree data and are used in city management, forestry, and utility work (to name a few). For our inventory, Earth Team uses Open Tree Map, an online tool and app that allows for easy tree inventory. One of the more useful features of Open Tree Map is that it uses the entered data to calculate environmental benefits of each tree.
To conduct the inventory, students were given maps, iPads, and measuring tapes. Trees planted in Fall 2017 were not recorded on the map yet, so all of the following data needed to be entered: species, GPS location, trunk diameter, and a picture. The interns were able to collect and record the data using the app on the iPads. Trees planted in previous years were already on the map, so all they needed was an update on their diameter and picture.
Overall, the day was fun and informative. Many interns had never done yard work or collected data on trees before. Despite the rain their spirits were kept up as they tended the trees and interacted with nature. Until next time –
LEADERSHIP – STEWARDSHIP – SERVICE