While We Were Gone
From Our Grounds Committee Chair, Diane Ford
The church building may have been closed for many months, but the 4.5 acres of church grounds were busier than ever with lots of visitors. As we moved out for the pandemic, deer moved in to make their beds against the east wall in the Memorial Garden, and of course eat the hostas near the patio.
The groundhog population grew, and a group of pups were spotted near their burrow on the creek bank. Unfortunately, the empty building attracted an adult who built a burrow under the west wall, and it now has a new home in Dallas County.
Beaver started wandering up from Grays Lake to munch on the trees, and a tree fell over the east stairway handrail and broke a section. A couple of other girdled trees are slated to be cut before they fall, and the wildlife removal expert has cameras in the area to monitor future beaver activity and remove them to another site if necessary.
Fox were spotted, along with spring warblers, several species of woodpeckers and other common birds, lots of sweet william, puff balls, may apples, jack in the pulpits, and of course green briar and poison ivy.
Critters with two legs were also present during our time away. Families with kids were constant visitors to the play areas, as were neighbors walking their dogs. Two-legged scoundrels vandalized the gate on the southeast corner of the trail. We thought two of the patio chairs were stolen, but finally noticed them in the upper story of the play house, apparently put there for the elevated view.
Even though the building was closed, the grounds were always open and always needed care. Volunteers kept the trash picked up, tended the many garden beds, cleared off the huge derecho debris from the parking lots and trails, removed hazardous trees, trimmed the trees over the walkways, planted, mulched, pruned, weeded, watered, cleaned out storm drains, rehabilitated the play structure by the patio, fixed up the lower parking lot and replaced broken poles and bumpers, cleaned up the patio area, volunteered for work days, and spent many many hours and their own dollars to keep the grounds maintained.
Thanks to all who stepped up!