Monthly Archives: March 2011

Update on the March 19, 2011 Parkwood Park Cleanup Day

So sad to see the hollies go.......NOT

Approximately 19 neighbors showed up to volunteer in Parkwood Park on Saturday, March 19 between 9 a.m. and noon for our 4th official Park Cleanup Day. We started off with a short ceremony for the hollies and the chopping began. Thanks to Karna Candler and her team, the West Ponce entrance is looking better. Steve Elmore will be removing the bricks from the toppled brick wall and saving them in case we ever have a new design for the north Park face which could incorporate these “historical” bricks.

Sheri Kennedy’s team pulled ivy, but there is so much ivy in the Park that progress is tedious and nearly indiscernible at this point. The Park Committee is exploring the safety of using a chemical means of removing and controlling the ivy, and is consulting with Invasive Plant Specialist Terry Sutton about his methods. He has done invasive plant removal work for City of Decatur, Deepdene, and Woodlands Garden. At this time it is only a consideration until more research is done.

A group of 4 or 5 men on Steve Elmore’s team cleared most of the stream of dams that were clogging the waterway and resulting in bank erosion. The visual difference is quite noticeable, and they used a dam-clearing method that was recommended by Joe Burgess of the Georgia Forestry Commission and Sally Sears and Susan Stainbeck of South Fork Conservancy. There were noticeable “dams” to be found in at least one drainage pipe draining into the creek from the corner of E Parkwood and Ponce. The storm drain there is 75% blocked and prevents effective drainage of storm water runoff from E Parkwood. This matter, among other structural and drainage issues, is being handled by Sheri Kennedy and Dekalb inspector Jim McKinney.

Lots of garbage was also removed from the Park and placed in orange bags to be removed by county sanitation. Rebecca Kerimbaev’s team cleared the Park perimeter of some of these bags and then placed Storm Drain Markers on 14 storm drains that empty into the creek. The markers are permanently adhered to the tops of drains and warn people not to dump any kind of waste into drains that flow into the creek. The markers were provided by the DeKalb county Department of Watershed Management. If you own one of the homes in Parkwood that has storm drains in your backyard and you would like one of these markers for your drain, please contact Rebecca Kerimbaev.

Recap of the March 10, 2011 Neighborhood Meeting

 

Sheri Kennedy reviews past progress and opens discussion for future plans

About 40 neighbors attended the PGC’s 2nd neighborhood-wide meeting of the 2010-2011 season two weeks ago on March 10, 2011 at the Church of the Epiphany at Ponce and East Lake. Five speakers presented talks for the neighborhood.

  • Sheri Kennedy, Parkwood Park Committee Chair
  • Susan Granbery, Georgia Forestry Commission’s Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator
  • Joe Burgess, Georgia Forestry Commission’s Senior Community Forester
  • Michael O’Shield, DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management’s Environmental Education Specialist
  • Joe Dicks, Architect, PGC homeowner and resident of 23 years

Some of the meeting's 40 attendees

The PGC and Park Committee thank all of the speakers and neighbors who made this meeting interactive, informative, and interesting. Between the presentations and questions from the audience that sparked discussion, the meeting ended up running almost 2 hours. No one seemed to mind though — there was much to learn, much to discuss, and much to consider for the future of the Park.

Joe Burgess and Susan Granbery talk about invasive species versus healthy habitats

The best way to bring yourself up to date on Park issues if you missed the meeting is to read the meeting minutes, which are now available online in the Members Only section at http://parkwoodgardenclub.com/members-only/minutes-20110310/. You should have already received an email with the password if you are a PGC member, but if you need it again don’t hesitate to email me for it.

Michael O'Shield talks about pet waste & yard debris

The minutes contain links to Sheri’s Powerpoint presentation that you can either download as a .ppt file or view online in PDF format. The minutes also contain links to 40 minute videos of both the Nov. 4, 2010 and March 10, 2011 meetings. The minutes themselves contain summaries of each speaker’s talk.

One of the take-home messages of the meeting is that the Park Committee needs to create a mission statement that will describe how we want to use the Park in the future. In addition to a mission statement, our biggest challenge now is to learn exactly what options we have for the Park. Many ideas currently exist for the direction the Park could or should take. One of the Park Committee’s tasks over the summer is to understand our options for the best overall use of the Park, any issues we need to resolve within the Park, and any limitations on usage we may have. The Park Committee will also need to explore potential sources of funding and consider the maintenance time and effort required by various usage scenarios for the Park.

The Park Committee is in need of volunteers to help with fundraising, grant identification and writing, publicity, and 501(c)3 by-laws and filing. We’d also like volunteers to help with plant and bird identification, water quality testing, and photography. Any neighbors who have experience in these areas and extra time to donate, please contact Sheri Kennedy.

Joe Dicks presents one possible vision he could help implement

If you have questions or comments regarding Parkwood Park, please take a look at the various presentations and talks linked to above, and contact Park Chair Sheri Kennedy at sojpk@bellsouth.net.

The Park Committee would like to thank neighbor and volunteer Park consultant Susan Stewart for her Powerpoint help and for taking minutes of the meeting. Thanks also to Committee members Steve Elmore for taking these photos, Karna Candler for welcoming attendees, and PGC Treasurer Beverly Greene for providing the cookies.

Attendees take advantage of the educational materials provided by the GFC

Who Cooks for You? Part Deux.

A few days ago I posted about a vigilant barred owl in my backyard. Two days ago, I spotted the pair of them together in late afternoon, rubbing faces and bills, preening each other, and generally being all lovey-dovey surrounded by tree blossoms, falling bud scales, and green shoots in the late afternoon light. It was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen in our new backyard to watch them together. That evening and over the next 24 hours, the female visited our barred owl box 5 times. Not sure why she’s doing this, as they most likely have young in another cavity somewhere very nearby. I made a 1.5 minute video with shots taken from the box’s infrared camera we built inside.

You can view the video at:  http://vimeo.com/21422822

Needless to say, even if they don’t visit again until next year, this has easily made my whole week!

~ Rebecca Kerimbaev

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 — PGC Officers’ Meeting

What: Parkwood Garden Club Officers’ Meeting
Who’s Invited: PGC Officers Only
Where: TBD
When: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Details: Contact Katie Black with questions.

Who Cooks For You?

March 17, 2011

If you’re at home in Parkwood and near a window around rush hour every day, you’ve heard it for the past few weeks like clockwork:  a deep and mellow “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for YOU alllll?” resounding from the vague direction of the ravine. If you’re not at home that early, then you’ve probably heard an owl calling at dusk as they do almost every evening, again like clockwork. And if you’re too busy with dinner around sunset to hear them, then surely you’ve been awake at 3 or 4 in the morning when you’ve heard the comical sound of monkeys madly cackling back and forth to each other like someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest. If you’re like me, you drop everything and listen every time. Almost everyone in Parkwood it seems, has become audibly acquainted with the vociferous vocalizations of our resident Barred Owls. But how many have seen more than fleeting glimpses of them?

Puffed up while being harassed by a blue jay

If you’ve been lucky maybe you’ve seen them a lot, but no matter how many times I see our Barred Owls, I feel lucky every time. I wanted to share my excitement with you in case you haven’t had a good look at one of our neighborhood’s most vocal birds and apparently one of its most bountiful breeders. How many of you moms and dads can say you’ve raised one or two new babies every year?

For the past week, a lone Barred Owl has returned to the same perch in the same tree, resting there out in the open from sunrise to sunset, giving me excellent views and photo opportunities. And like clockwork again, around 4 p.m. every day, he and his mate call back and forth to each other, “Who cooks for you?” I’ve been able to watch him calling through my spotting scope. Sometimes he has conversations with another Barred Owl far to the south of him, sometimes with one very close by in my neighbor’s yard to the north. This owl’s mate never made an appearance all week, until today. Bolot and I got to see both of them together this afternoon, swooping through the backyard’s blossoming canopy, landing near each other on another skinny sapling.

Blinking, showing white 3rd eyelid

And then…!  We saw movement in the dimming light as one of the owls spread open its huge 3 1/2 ft wingspan and swooped down from its perch and then up to its next chosen perch: our barred owl box! I ran inside to make sure our “owl cam” was recording images from inside the owl box. YES! It was! For the first time since we hung the box on Feb. 2, our camera caught an owl inside it. Although she only snooped around in the box for 3 minutes this time, it still made our day to see her checking out the new real estate, possibly for next year’s consideration. When she left the box, she and her husband flew off to look for supper in the woods behind our house. We went in the kitchen and heated up some pizza with smiles on our faces.

March 22, 2011 in nest box

For lots more photos of the Barred Owl on a branch and in the box on March 17, 21, and 22, go to Photo Galleries and then click on the Name That Bird gallery.

If you have photos or video you’ve taken of Parkwood Barred Owls, other birds, or any other wildlife and would like to share them on the website, please email them to pgc.webmasters@gmail.com.

Some neighbors at Saturday’s Parkwood Park Cleanup Day mentioned that having some kind of Parkwood Bird Walk event might be a good idea for something to do with neighbors and their kids this spring. I’ve been birding for over 20 years and would be happy to lead a neighborhood bird walk one morning or evening. If you have questions about what species you’re looking at in your own yard, I’d be happy to help you ID birds too. Please email me if you think you would attend a scheduled neighborhood bird walk.

Happy 2nd day of spring!