Volunteers work to replant trees in William Land Park on last workday of the year
As the city has been full force cutting down 66 trees in William Land Park, members of the Land Park Volunteer Corps have been working with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to start the replanting process. Last Saturday’s park work day was the last for this year and the start of a long replanting process. Besides the regular volunteer corps, student volunteers from C.K. McClatchy High School helped out with the replanting efforts.
Now in its sixth year of existence, the longevity of the Land Park Volunteer Corps has surprised even the longest running members, including Rick Stevenson who said, “Frankly, none of us thought (the volunteer parks corps) would last this long. The guy who has headed it up, Craig Powell, when started it we thought he was nuts. We thought it might work for a five months. Everyone has been surprised. It’s been picking up steam rather than petering out. People see results in the park. Some of the trails were so grown over that we didn’t remember they were there. Things got exposed that people forgot about.”
Volunteer Rick Stevenson stated that because of the wells on the property, water shortage has not been a problem even with the drought but that the problem has been with the water quality, adding that the head of utilities has told him that the water table is not dropping due to the proximity to the Sacramento River. Many of the trees were planted in the 1920s, Stevenson said, and have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years.
Duane Goosen, current interim gardener for WPA Rock Garden and Swanston gardens, said he submitted a list of trees to the Sacramento Tree Foundation, including live oaks cedars and conifer varieties and the foundation has agreed to donate some of these trees. He said plants at the rock garden have been suffering from burnt foliage. Goosen hopes to tie into the waterline that is being used by Fairytale town that uses potable water. “If we are able to do that, we could improve the health of the trees.”
Not all of the 66 trees have been removed yet, and Stevenson hopes that the volunteers are able to keep the mulch for surviving trees and trees they plant. “They’re not all out yet. It’s close. They were working on it. We wanted all the mulch for chips in the park because of the drought. parks…So, we’ve been clamoring for mulch. We didn’t want it exported to other parks. We’re giving all the squirrels bb guns to guard the mulch.”
Designated a “regional park”, he said William Land Park receives less money per square foot than city parks. So, between now and March (when the next season for the volunteer corps begins) Stevenson said volunteers are looking to various foundations to get money for park maintenance funding.