Leave it to Ruben Sundeen and fellow Rotary Club members (see photo below) to show us longstanding volunteers just what it means to get down and dirty. His team, which included Betty McEady, Beverly McArthur and Christina Angelos, tore into the ivy near the lower stairs and managed to remove a huge swath of it (much more than was expected and quite an accomplishment). This yielded about six green bags of clippings. Dang and I were in awe as we helped them unearth chunks of dusty, snarling vines. An amazing job, ladies and gentleman! This, of course, means that we have a new patch for planting bulbs, succulents and such. Suggestions, anyone?
Lola and Eli, Ruben’s kids, arrived with huge smiles and abundant energy. They balked at my suggestion that they use the cute, kid-sized tools to pick up trash. Instead, they insisted on using the gigantic loppers to trim trees. “We do it at home,” Eli exclaimed! Dang and I glanced at each other in horror, then suggested that rakes might be a tad less dangerous. They agreed, but that chore soon turned into running up and and down the stairs, which kept them busy for most of the morning.
Down at the Lakeshore Ave. level, Tom tackled the geranium plants, whose branches had gnarled and grown so thick that it made it almost impossible to cut. Determined, Tom managed to prune the geranium back to the the flowerbed level. He even trimmed the other side of it which was spilling over onto the driveway of an adjoining apartment complex. I’m sure the tenants thank you, Tom!
Dang and I impressed ourselves with our exceptional ability to clip and sculpt the boxwood shrubs at the top of S1 and S2. The shoots of random branches and leaves are now precisely pruned to a nice, neat shape, which not only looks better but also allows more pathway for exercisers.
Other tasks crossed off our list included the never-ending sweeping. The honors here go to Ben, Catalina and Dang’s friend Michael who had some help from his adorable toddler son.
All in all, 13 bags were piled with clippings and dropped off at the street level. Dang has reported back that all have been picked up by the city, leaving the park once again a scenic spot for exercisers, neighbors and possibly a few passersby who are discovering its beauty for the first time.
The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers. – Terri Guillemets