Our staff do a remarkable job keeping up with their routine mowing, weed whacking, field preparation, maintenance and trash removal of our thriving park system, but with a growing inventory and thoughtful budgets; there comes a time when we have to meet the need, when really we would like to meet the desire. So how do we bridge the gap? VOLUNTEERS!
Did you know that our parks clean up initiatives reach well beyond the one day of Green Up Vermont? Weekly we have volunteers who meet at Farrell Park to pick up trash along the borders, bike paths and in some cases, on the forest floor itself. These efforts are supported and coordinated by the organization Planet People. They schedule their clean-up efforts through their website and loop us into the communication to support delivery of supplies and trash pick-up when needed. While Farrell Park is the only South Burlington Park on the list to date, we are working with them to add more parks in the spring time.
Additionally, we have a small army of dedicated volunteers that are supporting the work of removing invasive species in our parks and open spaces. In its fourth year, the Weed Warrior Program has welcomed interested community members and has trained them identification of and best removal practices for invasive species. Why is this work so important? In a word: Biodiversity. Habitat loss and invasive plants are the leading cause of native biodiversity loss, which can reduce the quality and quantity of fish and wildlife habitat. Interested in learning more? We offer Weed Warrior Events throughout the growing season, with special trainings ahead of our events. You don’t need any experience, just a desire to help. We even provide the tools! Be sure to check our website for more details during the dormant months as we prep for spring time. A hearty THANK YOU to all our Weed Warrior Volunteers who collectively have helped removed buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, phragmites and oriental bittersweet this past season in our parks. We are eagerly awaiting the seasons end quantifiable results from Got Weeds, and will report those out just as soon as we have them.