Over three days in mid-September, Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards weeded and mulched some 80 trees at the native tree arboretum on the grounds of the Virginia Department of Forestry at the Fontaine Research Park. Undaunted by humidity and scattered showers, the CATS volunteers maintained a safe distance from one another and wore masks when not working alone.
Over the past six years, CATS has collaborated with the Department of Forestry to plant 35 native tree species on this site, including sassafras, silverbell, yellowwood, river birch and an American chestnut hybrid designed to resist the devastating chestnut blight. Many of the trees are labeled with QR codes that allow visitors to go online and learn more about the species.
For a virtual tour of the arboretum, watch this Arbor Day video featuring our friends Lara Johnson and Molly O’Liddy, the urban and community forestry staffers at VDOF. It includes instructions on how to use the QR code labels. Or come to visit the arboretum in person and take a pathway around the property that links to Charlottesville’s Rivanna Trail.
On June 23, a small contingent of CATS stalwarts provided care and upkeep for the Cub Scout Grove at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. While maintaining safe social distancing, our volunteers weeded, mulched and placed new and larger wire cages around young trees that had outgrown their original cages, ensuring protection from browsers. The crew included Caroline Lamb, Jacki Vawter, Donna Vinal, Toine Wykoff, Allen Ingling and Kathy Nepote.
The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards continue to pot and repot young trees in our nursery at the Virginia Department of Forestry. Well-watered, thoroughly weeded and sheltered from the summer sun by shade cloth, our inventory of trees and shrubs is thriving. We look forward to making them available to the community at the next CATS Tree Sale. The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards also continue to maintain The Grove, a section of East McIntire Park where we have planted new trees, taken care of old ones, and removed invasive species. If you are in search of a pleasant and healthy place to enjoy the outdoors, come walk the trails our volunteers have created in this public greenspace. It can be reached via a mowed pathway heading north from the skateboard park.