Nature Play Project Gets Underway
Thanks to a grant from PECO’s Green Region Open Space Program, FESPP is implementing a plan to enhance nature play around the PlayPen and in Corinthian Gardens. Based on the concept drawing, the project will add planting beds around the edge of the PlayPen, replacing roughly 1600 s.f. of lawn. Beds will be planted with native shrubs, as well as both native and non-native, hardy perennials that provide “play props.” The logs that were salvaged from a downed tree on Corinthian and Poplar Streets will be incorporated into new play space at the PlayPen and in Corinthian Gardens at varying scales.
This nature play improvement project kicked off on Sunday, October 18th, when several volunteers worked alongside Bartlett Tree Service to create planting beds by breaking up the soil, spreading biochar in the soil, and distributing the huge mountain of compost across the beds.
Bartlett Tree Service brought along a cool tool, the air-spade, to break through the hard ground. The air-spade is a rugged and durable handheld tool that produces a stream of supersonic air moving at Mach 2. Air-spading effectively penetrates and dislodges most types of soil, but is harmless to non-porous objects such as plant roots, buried pipes, or cables.
Bartlett Tree Service also donated biochar for the beds. Biochar a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. The large mound of compost was donated by Fairmount Park Recycling Center.
Many thanks to all who worked hard to get this project started including Anna Forrester for her concept and project organization; Biff DiTolla for his diligent project management; Bartlett Tree Service and particularly Bartlett’s Konstanze Fabian for helping out with the air-spading (at cost!), donating the biochar, and donating her time; Fairmount Park Recycling Center for the compost; and all the FESPP volunteers who gave up part of their Sunday.
The next workday (for planting + cutting and laying out logs and stumps) is Sunday, November 8. Details to follow.