Honoring Our Founders

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards had much to celebrate by the end of October, a month in which we provided new trees to local households, cleaned up public greenspaces, planted new trees in a community park, and paid a special tribute to our founders.

It started with one of our best Fall Tree Sales ever, pictured here. On October 6 at Tufton Farm, our volunteers sold 285 trees and shrubs, raising a record $2,800 for our organization. At the same time, we helped customers select trees that are appropriate for their landscapes and advised them on how to plant, protect and care for their new trees. A huge thank you to the team that managed the logistical feat of making this sale such a success.

Later in the month, the Tree Stewards continued to improve public landscapes in our area, including The Grove at McIntire Park, below. On October 14, with the help of community partners, CATS volunteers weeded and mulched the trees and shrubs we planted earlier on this hillside. All of them are thriving. We also expanded and improved the network of trails through the site.

We devoted two workdays—on October 20 and 21—to weeding and mulching the trees at the CATS Arboretum and nursery at the Virginia Department of Forestry’s headquarters in the Fontaine Research Park. That same week, on October 23, the Tree Stewards planted 17 trees at Darden Towe Park, below, including Willow Oaks (Quercus phellos), Swamp White Oaks (Quercus bicolor), Blackgums (Nyssa sylvatica) and Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), among others. Placed around the dog park and pavilion area, the trees are the beginning of a major reforestation of the park, where many trees have been lost to the emerald ash borer.

And finally, on October 27, we returned to the Arboretum at the Virginia Department of Forestry to dedicate a Hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis) planted a year ago in honor of the visionaries who set CATS in motion. Our friends at VDOF–including State Forester Rob Farrell, shown here with CATS President Barbara White–joined us for the ceremony.  It included the unveiling of a plaque listing the 14 founders and initial board members who formally established the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards in 2008.


Caring for a School’s Landscape

In mid-June, Tree Stewards continued an ongoing effort to restore the natural landscape at Charlottesville’s Jackson-Via Elementary School. Elise Burroughs and Kathy Nepote returned to the school grounds to remove weeds from around trees and shrubs CATS had planted earlier this spring. Eleven of our plantings were freed from encroaching vegetation, including invasives.

Spring Projects Keep CATS Busy

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards have taken advantage of the great spring weather and have pursued projects across the community.  In all of this work, our aim has been to improve both the health and the aesthetics of each site.

At Charlottesville’s Jackson-Via Elementary School, where we have been working for months to remove invasive vines and shrubs, we returned to the grounds on April 3 to plant trees in the places we have cleared. A few days later we were back at Jackson P. Burley Middle School on Rose Hill Drive to continue the removal of invasive vines and other vegetation that threaten trees on the campus, particularly along a creek adjacent to the school’s playing fields. The CATS team followed up with further work on April 26.

On April 23, our volunteers pruned trees that CATS had planted over the years for the Gateway Project, along the Route 20 entrance corridor into Charlottesville near the I-64 interchange. Later, on May 7, a small but valiant crew of CATS went back into Charlottesville’s Northeast Park to continue the removal of English ivy that is overwhelming the park’s trees.

May 9 found CATS at our tree nursery adjacent to the Virginia Department of Forestry, where we potted more than 200 one- and two-year-old trees for future sale to the public.  On May 19, CATS volunteers could be seen at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Their mission: weed and mulch plantings our organization had put in place over the years around the Bird Viewing Area. On May 25, more weeding and mulching were in store for CATS working at Greenleaf Park, where we did some spring cleaning around beds of ferns we had placed there earlier.

Here’s a photo gallery of some of our recent projects.

As traffic whizzed by on Route 20, CATS pruned trees we had planted earlier for the Gateway Project.

CATS volunteers continued an ongoing effort to clear English ivy and other invasives from trees at Jackson Burley Middle School.

At our nursery adjacent to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s headquarters, a CATS crew potted more than 200 trees for future sale to the public.

At the Ivy Creek Natural Area, CATS volunteers cared for plantings and improved the view around the Bird-Viewing Area.

A CATS team spruced up fern beds and other plantings at Greenleaf Park.