Nature lovers: Trim ivy and mulch the Brooklyn Greenway this Sunday

Mary Frost
The Brooklyn Eagle
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
English Ivy. Credit: Holy Outlow

Lunch, tools and fellow volunteers provided

Want to work in the sun with conservation-minded folks and beautify the Brooklyn Greenway this Sunday?

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join the Student Conservation Association (SCA) on March 23 to help remove invasive English ivy that’s strangling trees along two sections of the Brooklyn Greenway at Columbia Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Attendees will also prepare a nearby gravel-filled lot for spring planting by mulching and spreading compost. Tools and free breakfast and lunch will be provided. (Participants must register in advance at http://conserveNYCmarch.eventbrite.com )

The Brooklyn Greenway is a planned 14-mile route for pedestrians and cyclists along the waterfront of Brooklyn. Five of the miles are completed, according to the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. When finished, the Greenway will connect green spaces from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge.

“English ivy is an invasive species used a lot for landscaping. It’s pretty, but as it moves up trees it chokes them,” Ann Pedtke, SCA Marketing Outreach Coordinator told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We’ll also be taking out Japanese knotweed on sections of the Greenway on Columbia Street, so natural species can survive.”

Some section of the Greenway are still “works in progress,” she said. “It’s a patchwork coming together.” In the vacant lot surrounded by a chain-link fence where volunteers will be mulching on Sunday, the group aims to “improve the route and provide for a more unified experience.”

Though SCA focuses on high school groups, “We welcome all ages, from kids to student groups to grandparents,” Pedtke said. “We’ve had a great turnout for these events.”

SCA is a national organization that carries out a variety of conservation services around the country. Its members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, and community green spaces, and this event on Columbia St is one of SCA’s “ConSERVE NYC” efforts across the five boroughs.

ConSERVE NYC, launched on the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, organizes weekend conservation projects at new sites each month across the city where volunteers can help build natural resiliency and network with other nature enthusiasts.

To join in, meet at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Street between 9 - 9:30 a.m. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. SCA will provide breakfast and lunch as well as work gloves, reusable water bottles, and all project supplies. Work will wind up between 1 – 1:30 p.m., and lunch is served from 1:30 – 2 p.m.