And big thanks to Omar Ore-Giron and Brad Lancaster for organizing the efforts. For all those who committed to donating for the chipper rental and service - be sure to get your payment to Brad ASAP.
We had over 40 participants, excellent instruction by Pedaling Arborist Aleck MacKinnon, and we completed (during and before the workshop) much needed pruning (and removal of many invasive plants) throughout our public spaces, such as: Dunbar/Spring Community Garden, Mini-Nature Park, playground, basketball court area, 5 traffic circles, 8 chicanes, plus making public footpaths clear/accessible again to the city's required minimum 5-foot width and 7-foot height surrounding the Dunbar site and at number of other areas in the neighborhood along with the adjoining property owners.
All this also supports other events, encouraging new native perennial food plantings from seed, volunteer seedling transplant, cuttings, and nursery stock that are carried on throughout the year (though primarily the summer rainy season).
The result has been more individuals, kids, and families interacting with our neighborhood abundance and an increasing diversity and density of native wild life. (See attached image for one of the spadefoot toads we found in a neighborhood water-harvesting, traffic-calming chicane).
NOTE: the chipping of the prunings into mulch is still to come. This way we reinvest it as a fertile resource, rather than throw it away as a consumptive waste.
Unfortunately all the chippers were broken at all the rental facilities this past weekend, so the chipping has been delayed until this Friday/weekend (depends on the repair of the chippers).
Once you have your prunings chipped into mulch - please distribute your mulch.
Do not pile it against your plants. Rather have a six-inch diameter mulch-free area around the base of your plants. Mulch is best placed within basins that will hold the mulch, and collect rain and stromwater, which the mulch will help more quickly infiltrate into the soil, while reducing its loss to evaporation.
Do not raise the level of your mulch above any water inlets, ideally your landscape will accept and infiltrate water - rather than deflect it.
If you missed out this time, we'll be doing another pruning workshop in February 2018. Additionally, we'll do a neighborhood rain and tree planting in November 2018 (date yet to be determined).
Join the neighborhood foresters
And you can always help steward your part of the neighborhood forest, or a section you live by. We'd really love for people to step up to spearhead the stewarding of chicanes, traffic circles, and footpaths in the public right-of-way.
Join the Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood Foresters and we'll give you guidance and help. Talk it up amongst your neighbors to see if they'd like to get involved.
If you are not in the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood consider starting a foresters group in your neighborhood. Just two people planting or caring for a tree is all you need to start (and if you like you can use the Dunbar/Spring effort as a template you can evolve).
New native edible forest guidebook/cookbook Help fund (the printing of) and get a copy of Eat Mesquite and More: A Cookbook for Sonoran Desert Foods and Living.
Its a fantastic resource for the planting, caring, and utilization of our native food forests!