Minutes of Parkwood Park Committee Meeting of 1/17/11

Parkwood Garden Club Parkwood Park Committee Meeting
January 17, 2011

In Attendance:
Sheri Kennedy, Park Committee Chair, Vice President, and notetaker
Jim Jarboe
Karna Candler
Steve Elmore
Rebecca Kerimbaev

  1. Invasive Plant Removal
    1. Need to finish with chainsaw work in the park before the next work weekend. Steve and Jim K will continue to chainsaw weather permitting.
    2. Appleseed Tree Service is providing two operators for the next work day and charging $120 per hour for 5 hours. Interviewed 4 other Tree Services and Appleseed is still the least expensive service. Since Appleseed was really great to work with during our last work day we decided to continue to hire them.
    3. Next work day 1/22 depending on remaining chainsaw work being completed, and weather is good. Right now the ground is very wet and difficult to work in. Will decide if need to postpone by Tuesday, 1/18.
    4. At this time we still plan on closing the roads for the period of time we are working on either W or E Parkwood Dr. With the amount of debris in the park, the lack of curb space in the park and the chipper on the street we were not able to come up with another solution.
  2. Communication Plan
    1. Rebecca proposed a new tab on the website dedicated to the park in order to communicate all the activity taking place between neighborhood meetings. The tab on the website will provide updated information for those that are interested and prevent numerous emails from being distributed.
    2. We will continue to send out emails to neighbors about upcoming workdays and meetings.
    3. In the spring the committee will create an email to remind people to refrain from putting yard debris in the park. DeKalb County does not have an ordinance preventing people from putting yard debris in the park but there is an ordinance where PGC could be cited for not cleaning up the yard debris in the park.
    4. PPC is planning a neighborhood wide meeting in Feb. Date is not yet determined.
  3. Druid Hills News
    Geoff Seamans is putting together an article for DHN which will provide a short history of the park/PGC and then provide information about our current renovation. Geoff will provide draft by end of month for PPC and PGC Officers to review before submitting to DHN. Hopefully we will also provide link to PGC website and can have Paypal link for anyone moved to make a donation.
  4. W Ponce de Leon Design
    1. Met with Camille Harvey on 1/17 to discuss landscape plan for W Ponce and E Lake traffic circle. Camille’s normal charge for a design the size of the W Ponce area is $500 but will donate her time and only charge $200. She will also create a plan for the island for only $100 which would normally be $250.
    2. Have a meeting scheduled with Lynn Saussy on Thur, Jan 20
    3. NOTE: Update on meeting with Lynn. Lynn remembered our park and really liked what we had done so far. I asked her to provide a proposal for the same area at the front of W Ponce and the traffic circle. Since she had also worked on Woodlands I asked her for a general cost of an overall plan.
    4. Lynn committed to sending me a proposal early next week.
    5. Lynn also suggested removing the shorter hollies near the sidewalk and seeing if we could limb up the Burford hollies (like a tree) and still see around them. I am not sure they are tall enough to still be out of the line of sight.
    6. The PPC will review both Landscape proposals at the Feb meeting to determine next steps.
    7. Camille did recommend we remove the existing hollies but will also discuss with Lynn. If both recommend their removal we will then present to the neighborhood for discussion (or do we need to vote) at the February neighborhood wide meeting.
  5. Other Contact Updates
    1. Trees Atlanta – Sheri has a meeting planned for this week to discuss several invasive plant issues in the park–English Ivy removal, walking path, dead tree removal etc.
    2. NOTE: Meeting with Blake Watkins, Invasive Plant Specialist. Blake agreed with our approach to clean out the park. He suggested we also remove the Chinese hollies, and the Amur Honeysuckle (these are not green right now and we haven’t been cutting them down but really need to).
    3. He said TA uses Roundup to remove ivy. They cut the ivy and then when the new leaves are growing back they treat it with Round-up. Round-up is safe for use near water and streams. It has a short lifespan and is completely gone in 5-7 days. He recommended a licensed professional. He said pulling the ivy on the hills would be environmentally worse because it would loosen the soil which could cause run off into the stream. By using the chemicals you prevent any run off.
    4. He also identified the soon to be on the list of invasive plants that has overtaken the E Parkwood side of the park during the summer months. Japanese Chaff Flower is quickly moving up the invasive list because of how quickly it spreads. He said to pull it up before the seed head forms. The good news is the roots are shallow.
    5. He was very concerned about the amount of dog excrement around the park. He indicated the run off into the creek from the dog excrement was extremely toxic and suggested we try and get that problem resolved immediately.
    6. Blake agreed to attend our next neighborhood wide meeting and perhaps make a short invasive plant presentation. He agreed to come early and stay after to answer questions from our neighbors.
    7. Interestingly, he said we could hire Trees Atlanta to do the exact same invasive plant removal that we are doing. It costs $1500 per acre. He did explain that with the invasive plant density in our park it would take 2-3 years to get it all removed. He said some of the treated stumps will ‘green-up’ this summer (which is to be expected) and we need to go back and cut and treat again. Privet is one of the worse.
    8. He also suggested we may want to leave some of the invasive plants that are literally on the side of the creek and take that removal process more slowly. He said to cut away some (he said never pull any out that are on the banks as it will cause the soil to loosen.) and then make sure there are no problems as we move down the creek bed.
    9. Blake gave me the name of someone that might be able to offer advice with creating a path around the park. He actually builds mulched paths for mountain biking. I have emailed Derek and will keep everyone posted.
    10. Blake also recommended using the same plant list at Woodlands Garden for adding any plants to our park. He said we had a very similar terrain and sun/shade mixture. I will see if I can get a plant list from Ruby next time I am there.
  6. Park Pride – Talked with Ayanna about getting involved with Park Pride to also get ideas and contacts we can use as we decide to update the park. PP has a monthly meeting at an Atlanta Park as well as a conference planned at the end of March.
  7. South Fork Conservancy and OLPA – we continue to keep both organizations updated on our progress.
  8. DeKalb Roads and Drainage – I place a call to the engineer assigned our ticket every morning and leave him a message. I will escalate to his boss next week if I don’t hear back from him on a status. Issues to discuss: curb (or lack of curb at the cut through, various inlets throughout the park and the W Ponce fence)
  9. Landscape Company Estimates:
    Called over 10 companies but most never even returned my numerous phone calls. One returned estimate of over $5K per year. I talked with two more and asked if could beat the $1500 we are currently paying. Neither could beat our current Landscape Companies yearly cost. Jim Jarboe recommended a company he uses for his rental homes and suggested we talk with him in person about our expectations. His current proposal is $1430 per year but didn’t include the traffic islands near East Lake.
  10. Park Logo – Rebecca is looking for suggestions for a Park Logo that may be different from the PGC logo.

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