Turtle News – November Issue 2020

by Alexis Franklin

“This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for family, friends, time for rest and play in McMichael Park, the golden tree canopy and — of course — The Turtle.”

Many thanks to The William Penn Charter School students who painted the repaired benches in McMichael Park. Bench repair was recently completed by PP&R. The paint materials were supplied by The Friends of McMichael Park. The students had a great time “being green” on this Friday afternoon in November. Awesome! (photo credits: Tom Rickards)

(photo credits: Regina Maxwell, Beth Gross-Eskin and Alexis Franklin)

Signs of Love Your Park Solo throughout McMichael Park are visible with some seasonal additions of scarecrows, pumpkins and mums. Fall leaves bring such beauty to the scenery with festive oranges and yellows. To rake or not to rake? The old school thinking was to remove every leaf from the lawn. The advice today is that dead leaves, handled well, can help the environment, improve the grass and give you time to enjoy that hot chocolate on an autumn day. Mulching leaves is accomplished by breaking down the leaves in small pieces, usually by mowing them. Tiny particles of mulched leaves improve the lawn. The mulched leaves set around the tree pits, and grass puts nitrogen back in the soil as decomposition takes place. This process works better if mulched several times during the season. Be careful, as a heavy layer of fallen leaves can smother the turf.

Some leaf litter also benefits certain habitat for winter months. Toads and earthworms, some butterflies and moths use leaves as their homes for the winter season. A toad was seen during one of our story hours with Falls of Schuylkill librarian, Ms. Meredith … where there is one, there are many!

The process of mulching leaves in McMichael Park by PP&R was discontinued several years ago. Today, the leaves are bagged and taken to the city’s recycling center for composting. Never mix trash or other recyclable materials with bagged leaves. This contaminates leaves and makes them unfit for recycling purposes. In the spring, the composted mulched leaves are returned to neighborhood parks upon request. The Friends of McMichael Park are grateful to the volunteers who provide this service for McMichael Park. Please be aware the McMichael Park is not a leaf drop off location. For drop-off details and leaf collection schedules visit PhiladelphiaStreets.com/leaves or call 311.

Congratulations to Frank and Mary Kaderabek on their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Their family surprised them with a tree planted in McMichael Park through the Gift for All Seasons Program. A Black Tupelo, “Nyssa Sylvatica” was planted by PP&R’s Jim Moffatt. Thank you. What a lovely addition and enhancement to McMichael Park.

There is still no “caution “signage in the McMichael Park playground construction area at this time. Please avoid this danger area, including the sidewalk along Coulter St. Construction began two months ago. As of this printing the status of the permit for this project is still pending. The photo above is the signage used to manage the playground construction in Gold Star Park (615 Wharton St.).

Caution from PP&R: While more people are spending time outside, PP&R urges citizens to continue to be vigilant and careful, and follow the Green Phase Best Practices for PFN for all activities. 

Park Friends Network (ONLINE) Meeting
Thursday, November 12th
Please mark your calendars and join us for our next Park Friends Network Meeting on Thursday, November 12th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM online via Zoom. We’ll share important updates and information.

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