Betton Hills Neighborhood Association celebrated Arbor Day this year on Saturday, February 4th. We had an excellent turnout with participants from age 4 to age 82. We started the morning with hot chocolate, coffee, muffins and bagels. Nancy Leiva-Krause secured the refreshments and stayed at the welcome table to direct late comers.
Tom Schulte led a crew to clean out the two wood duck houses and the five bluebird nest boxes. Several of the children joined this team. It is always interesting to see the old nests that are removed. Tom reported that the McCord Pond wood duck box was in disrepair, so a replacement donated by Native Nurseries was installed a few days later. We noticed a pair of wood ducks swimming not far from this house on February 9th.
We focused our energy on invasive plant removal in two areas. Jody Walthall, Wilson Baker and Richard Crisler attacked invasive vines growing among the trees between the paved trail and the pond, primarily cat’s claw vine (bright yellow flowers) and potato vine. They also removed ligustrum trees, privets and tallow trees. We planted two mayhaw trees and a dahoon holly along the water’s edge.
Mary Kay Falconer led a group of volunteers in the woodland between the paved trail and Thomasville Road where we had previously removed copious amounts of ardisia along with ligustrum, privet, mimosa, Taiwan cherry, loquat and other invasive plants.
Vanessa Crisler brought her kayak and spent the morning removing Styrofoam cups and other litter from the pond. The Subers, who usually do this, were out of town. They promise to put in a few hours of pond litter cleanup soon.
Mike Brezin and Jim Ward led a group to tend to the plantings along Trescott. We did our original Arbor Day in this area and the trees are now quite mature. We thinned out a bed where cat’s claw vine and skunk vine had gotten established.
It is amazing to see all that was accomplished in a little more than two hours. We planted a snow bell within the blueberry patch bed along Trescott. It is a small tree or large shrub that has small white flowers in spring that are used by bees and hummingbirds. A fringe tree and a coontie were also planted along Trescott Drive. The City of Tallahassee provided twenty-five bales of pine straw that we spread around previous plantings throughout the park. In addition, the park staff graciously picked up our piles of vegetative debris and bags of ardisia berries and trash.
If you contributed to the Carol Bellamy Fund when you paid your dues, you helped fund these activities. Thank you.
I would also like to thank Clair Cotton-Watkins for photographing the event and Michael Bannister and Barb Shoplock for putting up the Arbor Day signs around the neighborhood. Casey McLaughlin posted Arbor Day information to the website and board president Eliza Hawkins sent out email and facebook announcements.
Thank you to the following participants:
- Donna Legare and Jody Walthall
- Mike Brezin
- Jim Ward
- Nancy Leiva-Krause and David Krause
- Claire Cotton-Watkins
- Mary Kay Falconer
- Tom Schulte
- Layne Schulte
- Vanessa and Richard Crisler
- Wilson Baker
- Kris and Ross Ellington
- Scott Ellington
- Elizabeth Slack and Soren and Bridget Nelzen
- Holly Thomas
- Kathy Mears
- David DiSalvo
- Breeze Howard
- Baia Terracciano and Antonio
- Todd Sperry
- Sonja and Joey Carter
- John Kennedy
- Plus 2 adults and 1 child anonymous