Help us get phase 2 over the finish line — there’s a matching grant!

The Phase 2 plan as displayed on a sign in front of Boulevard Woods Park. 

You may not have heard, but there is a fundraising effort going on to help cover both some unexpected costs and some newly discovered opportunities to make improvements during the second phase of construction at Boulevard Woods Park. 

With the contractor already on site and ready to help, we can—at relatively little extra expense—cover the unexpected costs and finish up the work in style. 

If we raise $8000 before December 31, we’ll be able put in a more new plants (trees and shrubs), create a more durable small rustic gathering space, establish a simple rain garden to help control the stormwater that flows through the park, plus cover the additional tree work we’re being asked to do. 

The first phase of construction came in under-budget thanks to careful management by Josh Koons and his firm, Koons Environmental Design, and a very conscientious and community-spirited contractor, Andrew Wahlers of Cultivation, LLC. This same team is doing phase 2, and we could get the basic plan installed for just a little over budget (about $2500) because of the tree work. But if we pitch in a little now, we have a chance to really enhance the park. 

As we did for the first phase of construction, we’ll recognize contributors on a sign at the park’s entranceway—and on the park’s website and social media. 

We’re making good progress, but as of this writing, we’re still about $2000 short of reaching our fundraising target of $8000. 

To help us hit our target by Tuesday, Dec. 18, Gregg Bayard and Maggie Kiley—neighbors, long-time friends of the park and generous souls—have put a $1000 pot on the table and will match donations dollar for dollar until we reach a combined total of $2000. 

Help us wrap up this fundraising campaign soon, and contribute today.

Thank you!

Send checks to:

Athens Land Trust

685 N Pope Street

Athens, GA 30601

NOTE: in the check memo space, write “Boulevard Woods.” 

Or contribute online at:

https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/76df2261-9766-471f-95da-ff7d86de6020?prv=163850

Work on Phase 2 started today

Work on Boulevard Woods Park Phase 2 started today! The park remains open from dawn to dusk as usual, but trails are closed during construction.

If the weather and playground equipment suppliers cooperate, Phase 2 should be complete in about two months. Trails will re-open then.

The park gets its first owl house

Shawn Doolan of New Urban Forestry prepares to secure owl house to a tree along the trail.

The next time you take a hike at Boulevard Woods Park, make sure you look up from time to time. High up in a tree along the trail you might be able to spot a newly installed owl house.

The house was built by Bruce Travis, a Boulevard neighborhood resident. He constructed the house–which is intended to attract barred owls–according to the Audubon Society’s latest recommendations.

Bruce, who is a capable carpenter, added a few refinements designed to improve the durability of the house and to keep it clean and dry. And he devised a simple, secure yet flexible attachment method that relies on gravity, two small spikes and a chain which minimized impact on the tree and allows it to grow without having to reposition the house.

Bruce Travis built and donated the owl house.

Getting the house up high on the tree required other skills–and those were donated by Shawn Doonan and Art Morris of New Urban Forestry, a local tree service and landscaping company. They hoisted the house up and put in place in about an hour on June 26, 2018.

Why, you may ask, do owls need human-built houses when they can build their own nests?

Art Morris and Shawn Doonan of New Urban Forestry, and Bruce Travis standing under the tree where the owl house was installed.

According to Bruce and the Audubon Society, the short answer is that making it easier and safer for owls to nest (which the house does) improves the odds that they’ll stay around. Especially in urbanized areas where natural habitat–including, crucially, lots of large dead standing trees–is harder to find, owls can use the assist. Keeping these beautiful, strange, wild creatures among us–with their evocative calls and their predatory elan (which helps balance other animal populations)–is a mutually beneficial project.

Bruce plans to build more bird–and possibly bat–houses for the park, and New Urban Forestry has generously offered to install them.

 

 

 

 

Photos by Jessie McClellan of New Urban Forestry.

Boulevard Woods was MLK Day project site

Boulevard Woods Park was one of several project sites for this year’s MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 15, 2018.

About 13 volunteers showed up, including a few very young ones. Here’s what they accomplished in less than 2 hours:

  • raked the entire hiking trail at the park clear of leaves
  • picked-up every last bit of litter on the top, street side part of the park
  • hauled-out five bags of debris from the upper part of the wooded part of the park
  • removed a bunch of bigger junk, including a tire, a commercial dishwasher rack, a vacuum cleaner
  • picked-up and piled lots of concrete and brick rubble. One volunteer estimated that the rubble pile probably weighed 30 tons. (Other estimates, possible more accurate, were considerably lower, though still impressive.)
  • used some of the concrete rubble to reinforce part of the trail against stormwater damage

Organized by Athens-Clarke County government, the day of service is intended to honor the legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by inviting citizens to participate in volunteer service projects throughout the county.

This year’s volunteers included: Tony and Michelle Ferguson, Kasey Shuler, Lauren Knowlton, Finely and Davy Gibbs, Heather and John Parham, Dan Lorentz, Rob and Ella Simpson, Franklin Leach, Wyatt Leach, Beth Bedingfield, Tim O’Keefe and Xhenet Aliu. (Sorry if someone wasn’t included.)

Thanks to all.

Neighborhood Garden Harvest This Saturday

Join us for our free garden harvest sharing event, the “Neighborhood Garden Harvest,” this Saturday, August 5, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m at Boulevard Woods Park, rain or shine

Ann Sears brought amazing giant figs last Saturday to share. Everyone enjoyed shortbread, herbs, coffee, flowers, books, bubbles, and more.

Stop by and enjoy the people, the park, and the “harvest”.

We will meet every Saturday morning in August. August 26th will be the last morning Garden Harvest until May 2018.

Neighborhood Garden Harvest happens this Saturday, July 29

On behalf of the Boulevard Neighborhood Association Steering Committee, Bruce and Jane Travis send this note:

Neighborhood Garden Harvest, Saturday, July 29,  from 9 a.m.  to 10 a.m at Boulevard Woods Park, rain or shine

Join us for the third free exchange this Saturday. Last week included music, poetry, coffee, cookies, plants, peppers, figs, herbs, and more! Thank you to everyone who shared and to everyone that stopped by to visit.

We will meet every Saturday morning in August. August 26th will be the last morning Garden Harvest until May 2018.

–Bruce and Jane

Reminder: Neighborhood Garden Harvest this Saturday

What started last Saturday, continues this Saturday: the Boulevard Neighborhood Association’s “Neighborhood Garden Harvest” takes place at Boulevard Woods from 9am to 10 am, rain or shine.

Last Saturday, we were so fortunate to have the “Hawk Proof Rooster”, Nancy and Charlie Hartness, play and sing for us.

Attendance for our inaugural event was estimated by the National Park Service at 19 people, including children. Garden produce shared included tomatoes, wild flowers, basil, thyme, lemongrass, eggplants, peppers and bay leaves.

Come to share fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers or plants for free with your neighbors. Individuals without a harvest may want to think of creative ways to contribute (drinks, food treats, bubbles, playing music, etc.).

Neighborhood Garden Harvest sharing event to start at park

The Boulevard Neighborhood Association is starting-up its  “Neighborhood Garden Harvest” at Boulevard Woods on Saturday, July 15, from 9 am to 10 am, rain or shine.

This is a new event, brainstormed and organized by Jane and Bruce Travis–two Boulevard neighborhood residents–where neighbors come together and share garden grown vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, and plants with each other for free (remember to bring your own bags) and to enjoy our community in a beautiful park setting. There is no need to bring tables or chairs since the park has stone walls installed ideally for seating and display.

Everyone is invited to enjoy selecting items from the community harvest whether or not they were able to contribute fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers or plants as long as the supplies last. Individuals without a harvest may want to think of creative ways to contribute (drinks, food treats, children’s bubble station, playing music, juggling, storytelling, etc.).

Organizers will post a weekly reminder invitation on behalf of the Boulevard Neighborhood Association Steering Committee.

 

Steps built, drainage improved, lots of invasive plants removed

From left to right: Will Vaught, Mariel Groppe, Julia Smith, Dan Wescoat, Elliot Dawes, Erica Kistner and Cal McKinney.

The rain—the rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain—did not stay the Southeast Conservation Corps crew from the swift completion of their “hitch” at Boulevard Woods Park.

The crew, a branch of Americorps, built two sets of steps, reinforced a few soggy spots along the trail, and cleared about one-third of the wooded part of the park of honey-suckle (and other invasive plants) despite being rained on every day they were at the park.

Thanks to the SECC crew, and to ACC Leisure Services for supervising and providing supplies.

First step of steps, connecting upper-level of park to the trail.

 

Second set of steps, along the trail.

The Corps has landed at Boulevard Woods


They’re here, and they’ve been working hard.

An 8-member crew from the Southeast Conservation Corps—a branch of Americorps—is doing a “hitch” at Boulevard Woods.

This crew, based out of Chattanooga, TN, is clearing out invasive plants (much of which is bush honeysuckle, wisteria, privet and some types of ivy), building steps for the trail and putting-in a few drainage features as well.

ACC Leisure Services selected Boulevard Woods as a project site for an Americorps hitch this year. After Boulevard Woods, they’re going to do a hitch at Beech Haven. Before they came to Athens, they worked on Natchez Trace near Jackson, MS.

The crew leader is Dan Wescoat, and crew members are Will Vaught, Elliot Dawes, Julia Smith, Mariel Groppe, Erica Kistner, Quran Whatley and Cal McKinney.

These folks are doing a lot of work. We owe them a big thank you.