Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Service Hours Opportunity at Pease Park.

Dear Gentlemen:

My name is Richard Craig and I am a volunteer with the Austin Parks Foundation. I am heading up an effort to plant 100 trees in Pease Park (along with the Austin Parks Dept. and Old Enfield Neighborhood) on Saturday, February 21, 2009. We would like to respectfully request the help of the Boy Scouts of Troop 9, Troop 5 and Troop 399 in this very big project.

Sunne and Jeff Wiginton were kind enough to share e-mail addresses with me. Please forgive this impersonal means of requesting your troops' assistance.

Here is some information on the tree planting project itself:

The City's Urban Forestry personnel at PARD will dig the holes for these trees by mechanical means prior to the Feb. 21st planting date. Volunteers will simply need to get the trees out of their containers, plant them in the pre-dug holes at the correct depth, backfill the hole with existing soil and organic amendments, mulch the surface around the tree and water them in well.

The trees will be 15 gallons or larger and at least six or seven feet tall. There will be a variety of species, from larger shade trees to smaller spring flowering ornamentals. They will be placed according to a plan developed by a landscape architect working with the Foundation and the City's Urban Forester, Walter Passmore. Each tree will be attached to a bubbler hose running off of a one inch irrigation line and timer to ensure that they have adequate watering to survive their first several years.

The huge number of trees to be planted in one day makes this a very challenging project. We believe we will have a number of volunteers from the neighborhood and other interested stakeholders. But, few groups can offer the manpower and enthusiasm that the Boy Scouts of America can. Therefore, it seemed natural to turn to your three nearby Troops, the future citizens of Austin and custodians of Pease, for help.

Pease Park is in very bad shape, having lost 40 trees in the severe wind and hail storm of May 15, 2008. This was just the latest blow to a park that has been steadily been losing its tree canopy for years as the existing old cedar elms die. New trees have not been planted at a rate to arrest this creeping de-forestation. The Austin Parks Foundation and the City hope to plant an additional 300 trees over the next several years in a campaign we have called "Trees for Pease." This year's planting is just the first phase.

I have attached an article on Pease Park that has appeared in several neighborhood association newsletters and a fundraising letter we have used to provide you more information on the park and the project.

You can also learn more about the "Trees for Pease" campaign on the Austin Parks Foundation's website:

It is listed under coming "Volunteer Opportunities."

We hope to have the media present to publicize the event. The West Austin News is working on a story now. We plan to have t-shirts to pass out to volunteers as a token of our appreciation for their assistance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 477-0737 or Charlie McCabe, The Executive Director of the Parks Foundation, or Rosie Weaver, the Foundation's volunteer coordinator, at 477-1566.

We would sincerely appreciate any help you can provide on February 21st and in the future. Pease Park is in need of a lot of work that might fit in well with individual Eagle Scout projects such as erosion control, groundcover/ soil restoration, gardening projects, invasives (non-native plant) removal and irrigation. We would welcome any interest in this regard and could put you in touch with the relevant Parks Dept. officials to coordinate with on such Eagle projects.

I am sorry for the length of this e-mail. But, as you can tell, we are very enthusiastic about "Trees for Pease" and hope you all will be too. Again, many thanks for your consideration and for all you do with scouting in Austin.

Richard Craig
1419 Preston Ave.
Austin, Texas 78703
477-0737 (home)
925-5306 (cell)

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