Hello fellow readers,
The Blairstown’s Village Green, also known as the pocket park where the old Community Center once stood, benefited from a weeding frenzy and a hefty load of mulch. Thanks to a busload of energetic students from Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ. Patti Doell who owns a local flower farm called Little Big Farm organized the cleanup along with Gina Trish, who spearheaded the creation of the park installed in 2013. Pat Treible, a member of the North Warren Garden Club, also volunteered and frankly set the pace that most of the young’uns and I couldn’t match.
It felt like homecoming when the 31 boisterous students unloaded from the school bus in varying states of work attire. I teased one burly fellow in white gym socks and slip on sandals. Perhaps he never spread 20 yards of mulch before; let alone yank a truckload of weeds. Which is exactly what was accomplished by these delightful young folks in about four hours.
The program is called Community Plunge and Allison Galvin, Director of Student Programming for Centenary, said “Patti was the most excited host of all the hosts this year.” There were 20 projects that the 300 volunteer students could choose from throughout our community. Allison went on to share that Centenary College is all about community service. Each student serves a minimum of ten hours of community service before they graduate. “You just got here, we’re happy to see you, but wherever you are from this is your community now,” is what Allison told the freshman the day they arrived. The next day they signed up for their project of choice and thankfully students opted to tackle our weedy garden dilemma.
We’ve had trouble finding volunteers to help maintain the park and sadly, many of the perennials originally planted were drowned by weeds. Hence we need replacements. Our original design called for Ostrich Fern, Joe Pye Weed, Purple Coneflower, Fountain Grass, Black-eyed Susan, Bugleweed, Shasta Daisy, Purple Siberian Iris, and Switch Grass. Plus, four Dappled Willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) are amongst the missing. If anyone has these or other plants to offer up or, even better, a willingness to weed or plant don’t be shy. Contact Patti Doell at (908) 459-5484.
Imagine the magic if all of us offer up seeds of service. Surely our world would be a more beautiful place. Thank you volunteers and all who supported the project.
Garden Dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com