Whitehead Park 2016

This page will be re-filed under Projects: Whitehead Park 2016

January 2016

4 January, 2016 – back at Whitehead. Mary and Audrey spent a pleasant hour raking the paths so they are obvious. They need a fresh dressing of chips and I have asked Saanich for some. We also checked the west side where the trees and roses are growing well. The ivy from the fence is spreading and the area near the fence up the slope is very wet. A good place to start would be by the lake shore where the ivy (and the beaver) are flourishing.

11 January, 2016 – Saanich has delivered a load of chips. Audrey and I worked hard at spreading some on the most needy part of the trail system. It sounds easy but we were beat at the end of an hour. As we were leaving Rick Hatch and Don Illingworth arrived. We had a walk about to see how plantings were growing. They agreed we could accommodate some of the extra trees from PSS. A few more firs on the upper part at the very east end of the park and some cedar lower down would make sense. They suggested starting over with cardboard and mulch and replanting the area where we first started that the tree top fell on. The Reed Canary Grass is flourishing there. Don stayed to spread more mulch. Audrey 1 ½ hours. Mary 2 hours.

18 January, 2016 – Audrey and Mary looked over the work done by Evergreen and the Green Team on Saturday. They had cleared a big pile of ivy from the fence on the west side and also done some weeding of blackberry on the east side. We were glad to see that done. There is still lots of ivy to go. Next week we will bring rakes to gather up the bits which if left will start to root. Then we planted 4 cedars, 3 firs and 1 hemlock which we got from PSS. They were in 1 gallon pots and should be OK. We weeded a bit as we were doing it. We then moved a few sword ferns we had planted last year to clear a trail above the upper exclosure because people seem to want to walk there. If we spread a bit of mulch there perhaps they will stick to one trail. We spent 1 ½ hours.

25 January, 2016 – Audrey, Mary and Richard Atwell walked the site in order to show Mayor Richard Atwell what we had accomplished. The 3 of us then worked on the ivy on the west side. The site is very wet due to the tree removals up slope. Audrey and Richard raked the upper parts while I pulled long stems of ivy from among the alders and leaf litter near the lake edge. It will take several more sessions to clear this up and probably seasons of work to get rid of the ivy. Satisfying day. I will call Saanich to pick up the ivy pile from us and Evergreen.
3 People for 1 ½ hours.

February 2016

1 February, 2016 – Audrey and Mary had a great day working on the east side. We went after blackberries mixed in with the roses but found most of them gone. Dug out some from various spots around the site. I then cut shoots of Golden Willow from the water’s edge while Audrey went after black berry starts. Then Audrey weeded the lower exclosure and discovered little holes in the fence and some shrubs pruned probably by rabbits. Mary weeded around the original plantings which are getting wreathed in long grass. Next week bring the mulch forks and mulch these newly exposed plants which are sitting in water. Audrey will take care of the upper exclosure. We also must bring rakes to clean up the ivy bits left behind when Saanich picked up the pile. 2 people 1 ½ hours.

8 February, 2016 – A busy clean up day. Audrey, Winona Mary and Claire, a volunteer from Claremont’s Global Studies Programme spent 1 ½ hours. We raked up the leaves and bits or ivy left from the Evergreen pile that Saanich has picked up. Then we worked on the east side. Audrey got the blackberries from the upper exclosure while Winona and Claire mulched the plants I had weeded last week and I tried to keep ahead of them uncovering more plants that were disappearing into the weeds. The place is looking better and better to us.

15 February, 2016 – It is raining so hard and the ground is awash so we decided not to go to the park.

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16th February:  water levels of Tod Creek leaving Prospect Lake.   Photo credit: Ian Duncan

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Photo Credit: Ian Duncan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 February, 2016 – It started out raining but it was sunny by leaving time. It was good chance to see where the water is pooling. I spread chips and some mulch on the remainder of the exposed cardboard which is down near the drain Audrey and I made. Today it looks as if we could use a bunch more drains. Instead I mulched the paths with lots of chips which are starting to compost, but they will help the trail for a while. It was very satisfying to have that done and to think that it will soon dry up and the trails will be ready for lots of visitors. The plants are also showing signs of coming spring. There are leaf buds on most of the shrubs and the little sword ferns are perking up and looking more important than they have been. We could use more chips. Evergreen pulled more ivy on Saturday which could use a pick up. Mary spent 2 hours.

29 February, 2016 – Audrey is away so again I was on my own. I started by raking up the bits of ivy that were spread about by the parking lot. By the time I had gathered most of them and put them on the big tarp I could not carry it. I loaded it all into the trunk of my car and then had the luxury of having my tools close at hand as I worked on the east side. The trails are much in need of chips but the few we have left are decomposing and not worth spreading. The same goes for the mulch which is full of maple roots. I started raking then into a tidy pile and then realized I was making a little berm. I pushed it a bit farther from the road so that there was room for more mulch and chips to be dropped off. I thought if we put some shrubs on the berm we would have a nice entry to our soon to be beautiful area. I did some more clearing of winter debris from the shrubs and realized they are desperate for mulch to cover their exposed roots. I will call Saanich. I worked for 1 ½ hours.

March 2016

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Woman and dog, rainy morning walk.

7 March, 2016 – Saanich has brought the mulch and chips I asked for. Winona and Lori joined Michael Derry and Audrey for a look at the site and discussion of next steps. The Michael, Audrey and I got down to spreading chips on the paths (Michael) and mulch on the plants (Mary and Audrey). The chips were spread in no time. Mulching was a little slower. If we can get more cardboard we can try spreading it and more mulch on the original area that is filling with Reed Canary Grass. 3 people for 2 hours. 2 people for ½ hour (?)

14 March, 2016 – Saanich has delivered another load of chips and some cardboard. Michael spread more chips on the trails while Audrey and I pulled tape off the cardboard. We were glad to see there were no staples. The Michael and I spread the cardboard closely around the plants on the original area. Actually I weeded there and Michael did a beautiful job of getting the cardboard snugly up to the stems of the hardhack and snowberry that are growing well. Audrey put dog hair on the plants that were in the upper exclosure that we took out last spring. We would hate to see them become deer food. We need more cardboard and more chips. 3 people for 2 hours.

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Sign on Goward Road, entrance to east end of the park.

21 March, 2016 – Mary’s blog notes to be added here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 March, 2016 – Photos of spring in Whitehead Park

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Entrance from Goward Road, facing east.

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Spreading mulch along the trails.

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Trail along creek mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black hawthorn bud [Crataegus douglasii]

 

 

 

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Salmonberry new leaves [Rubus spectabilis]

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Skunk cabbage [Lysichiton americanus].

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Grand fir [Abies grandis], very young.

 

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Black twinberry [Lonicera involucrata].

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Fringecup [Tellima grandiflora].

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Trailing blackberry, native blackberry [Rubus ursinus].

 

 

 

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Clustered wild rose [Rosa pisocarpa].

 

 

 

 

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Fawn lily [Erythronium], are in bud in the park; this one blooming across the park on Goward Road.

 

 

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Daffodil [Narcissus].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2016

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Laying cardboard to deny the weeds light; then covering the cardboard with mulch. And spreading wood chips over the trails.

See below for instructions and a link to “Lasagna Gardening” and how your park is advancing with this technique.  Our wood chip trails will lead you right to the far east side of Whitehead Park to see our work.
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Come walk our trails and see our native plantings.

 

 

 

 

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Evidence of our local beaver.       See our “Resources” page for facts and a link to Frances Backhouse’s new book: Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March, 2016 

21st March, 2016 –   Michael, Audrey and Mary carried on working from where we left off last week. Michael spread the last of the chips on the trails while Audrey weeded blackberry sprouts and I weeded Reed Canary Grass, we made some progress. Michael spread some mulch on the cardboard he spread last week. We need more cardboard and Michael will go on a search this week. I will call Saanich for more chips as we want the trails in good shape for the summer. 3 people for 1 ½ hours.

28 March, 2016 – We started by the creek where we pulled a little Lamium, which is almost gone from this spot. Also pulled a few blackberry starts. We left the cleaver until it is bigger and easier to pull. Someone has dropped off some cardboard for us. We pulled the tape off. We will use it next week when Michael is here. We then worked out way up to the south-east corner where a healthy bunch of Lamium is flourishing. It will take a bit of time to get that out, but we will. Audrey and Mary for 1 hour.

April 2016

4 April, 2016 – Lori and Michael had brought a lead of cardboard and Lori spent her first day back at work pulling the tape off of it. We will use it to finish the area where the tree top fell and then concentrate on the spreading Reed Canary Grass near the wetland. Audrey and Mary weeded near the Lamium patch. There is lots more to go.  Hours: 5.5

11 April, 2016 – Audrey started early on the Lamium, which is starting to flower in the sunny spots, because she had to leave early. Lori pulled tape from the cardboard and Michael placed it over the Reed Canary Grass. We then spread mulch on top of it. Not too much more to go on this spot but there is another patch over by the wetland that needs attention.

15 April, 2016, Friday – A special day because students from Bayside Middle School and from Brentwood Elementary came to release their Coho. The younger ones were paired up with the Grade 6s. After a short talk about what we were doing, we got to work. The children released Coho gently into the creek the older ones helping the younger ones. Lots of chatter in French since this is a French Immersion school. I was impressed by the student’s knowledge and their interest. After all the fish were safely in the water the students settled on the west side of the park to eat their lunches. Go to our “Kid’s Page” to see the photos, or click on this link:  http://www.todcreekwatershed.ca/kids-page

Lasagna gardening               IMG_9547

“a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. The name “lasagna gardening” has nothing to do with what you’ll be growing in this garden. It refers to the method of building the garden, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in rich, fluffy soil that will help your plants thrive. Also known as “sheet composting”… ”  [cut from link below]

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm

4th July 2016 

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Aug 2016

1 August, 2016 – Audrey and Mary for 1 hour. We found that Saanich has dug the YFI and taken it away. We did see a couple they had missed. Big patches of a mint blooming that we had not seen before. On the east side we pulled morning glory and some blackberry from the young plantings on the south end. We will do a better job on these when the rains soften the ground. We look forward to taking down the last two exclosures at that time as well. Lori and Michael have spread all the chips. I will ask Saanich for more as they do not have any more mulch. We would also like the watering truck to do some of the new young firs at the top. Maybe do a Small Sparks grant for plants for the riparian area that is being mulched over cardboard.
8 August, 2016 – Lori, Audrey, Rebecca from 100 Goward Road and Mary did a walk through. Dug and pulled some Golden Willow from west side and tried without success to dig some YFI on both sides. More weeding. Mary left after one hour to go to the Flats where work is starting in order to finish last year’s work.
15 August, 2016 – Michael, Audrey and Mary worked for varying lengths of time. Michael spread more chips on the cardboard down by the lake. Audrey and Mary cut some blackberries from the out of the roses at the top of the site and then dragged buckets of water from the creek to water some of the Doug Firs at the top. They can always use more in this hot, dry weather as this is their first summer in the ground. Mary ¾ hour, Audrey 1 ¼ hours and we left Michael still working on the chips.
22 August, 2016 – Audrey, Lori and Mary worked for about an hour pruning trees, picking yellow plums and watering trees. Talked with Sandy Munns about more watering. I need to ask Saanich for more chips.
29 August, 2016 – I was on my own this morning as the others were away. I decided to give the paths a light raking and weeding before the leaves begin to fall in earnest. Starting by the cedar tree on Goward I raked and pulled a few weeds. The path looked better immediately. Very satisfying. I pulled the horsetail out of the little creek so when the water comes it will be able to find the wet land. Robyn from Saanich brought a load of chips and we had a look around at our progress since she was last here. Then I attempted to clear the drain Audrey and I made last spring. I couldn’t find the downstream end and the ground was too hard to dig. We will have to clear it as soon as the ground is soft. 1 ½ hours.

Sept 2016

5 September, 2016 – Audrey and Mary worked for 1 hour pruning, finding culvert outlet at Whitehead and then went to Lohr Rd to check on thistles and other weeds. Ground too hard to do much.
12 September, 2016 – Everyone busy elsewhere.
19 September, 2016 – Audrey attacked the Golden Willow that is sprouting in the creek. Because the creek is so low she was able to reach some sprouting stumps that are normally in the water. She did a great job and as she triumphantly made her way back to shore she suddenly found herself up to the top of her thighs in mud. She had to sit down to get out so she was thoroughly muddied but unbowed. She went on to cut more shoots on both sides of the creek. Meanwhile, Mary spread a few wheelbarrow loads of chips on the remaining exposed cardboard. Last night’s rain has spruced up some tired looking plants. Exciting to see. Audrey and Mary 1 ½ hours.
26 September, 2016 – No work at WHP. We were over on Tod Creek Flats.

October 2016
3 October, 2016 – Spent most of the time at TCF. Did a quick check of the area. Will ask Saanich to do final planting and remove last two exclosures when the rains come. Mary ½ hour.
31 October, 2016 – After a few weeks doing other things, notably working on the Flats, Mary came back to the park on a very rainy Monday. A quick glance yesterday showed that the paths needed raking and some general tidy up was needed. We had a bus tour of the watershed yesterday but we did not bring people over to see the east side because everything was covered with newly fallen leaves. The raking was easy and very pleasant and soon the paths were invitingly exposed. I also raked the creek again which is starting to flow. I felt so great after that that I dumped a few wheel barrow loads of chips on the parts of the path that were being covered with Reed Canary Grass. I thought that was enough for a very rainy day, but I couldn’t resist having a little wander on the west side where I freed some hardhack and some roses of their burden of Reed Canary Grass. I hope that RCG gets shaded out by the hardhack etc. I finished off with a little chat with a kinglet in the cedar by the parking lot. Spent 1 ½ hours.

November 2016
7 November, 2016 – Today was the day the last two explosures came down. Sandy Munns and a co-worker took down and rolled up the netting and then pulled out what poles they could and broke off the rest. It is exciting to see them gone as the protected plantings seem much more accessible. I am sure the deer will think the same. We also looked at the last area that needs plants. Sandy quickly estimated how many plants we would need and we decided on Salmonberry, roses and spirea (hardhack). They will come soon. When they left, taking the fencing and poles with them, Audrey and I got to work pulling little blackberries, digging RCG and spreading chips on the trail near where the exclosures were. We can keep doing this forever. We went home after 1 ½ hours.
14 November, 2016 – Mary spread chips on the trail and did a little raking while Audrey pulled blackberries. Most of the leaves are off the trees so raking makes sense. 1 hour.
21 November, 2016 – The trails are in pretty good shape with chips thick enough to keep boots out of the muck. Digging RCG and Blackberries. 1 Hour.
28 November, 2016 – Mary and Audrey worked at pulling/digging blackberry crowns from in amongst the roses over by the big tree. They come easily from the mud. Worked for 1 hour.

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