Landscape Committee Report

After trash/recycling pick-up and snow plowing, landscaping is probably the next biggest area of importance to our community.  In budget terms, landscaping costs are, by far, the largest component of our budget.  While we’re probably all aware of the common area mowing conducted by our contractor, Environmental Enhancements, Inc. (EE) – 24 times per year, and leaf removal services conducted three times late each autumn, and more than a dozen other customary services, we may be less aware of other “one-of-a-kind” services they provide.

The first of those this spring was to expand the mulch rings around more than 20 trees throughout the common area.  This was especially valuable in protecting our maple trees, whose roots tend to stray along the surface of the adjacent turf and get scalped when the turf is mowed.  Expanding the mulch rings will help protect those roots and extend the life of some of our largest and most attractive trees.

Another project recently completed this spring was the removal of a dozen “trash tree” saplings in two areas of the community.  Several of those were “devil’s walking stick” – a very nasty species.  Do a web search of that phrase and you will see why we are happy to be rid of those trees.

Third, was the clearing of a portion of the berm/border area between Van Tuyl Place and Brooks Square.  Several years ago, a number of white pines were removed from that area – some by storm damage and others due to disease.  Since then, weeds, trash tree saplings, English ivy, poison ivy, wine-berry, and other pest plants have overtaken the area.  Those species were cleared and a wood chip mulch will be applied to help control future unwanted growth.  Later this spring we intend to plant four American Hollies in that area to restore the sound and sight barrier that was lost when the white pines disappeared.

Another notable project this spring will be an expansion of the ground cover test beds that were installed last fall on the hillside behind 6808 – 6810 MPC to help control the erosion of the problematic Kirby hillside.

Much of the above is coordinated by our Landscape Committee (LC).  The LC is a group of volunteers that help plan and shape how our landscape budget is spent on our common areas.  The LC meets at 7:30 PM, the 2nd Wednesday of each month at Longfellow School, Room 118.  Meetings are open to all members of the community.  Look for signs announcing our meetings – they are posted each month at the two entrances to the community.

The LC welcomes new members that have an interest in the maintenance and enhancement of the common areas, especially those who would like to help with some of our hands-on, do-it-yourself  projects.  It’s good exercise and a good way to meet your neighbors in the community.  For more information, contact Steve Smith, Chairman of the LC:  ssmith17@cox.net or call him at 703-405-8292.