Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am writing you to ask for your help in restoring the plantings of our beloved Pastorius Park.
Over the years, with little from the City, Friends of Pastorius Park has stepped up to clean, repair, and restore many of Pastorius Park’s assets, including the park’s masonry, warming hut, benches, moat, pond, and water system. Most recently this spring, FoPP spearheaded, in partnership with CHCA’s Greenspace committee, the restoration of the park’s amphitheater with installation of new native hedges, and Wissahickon style perimeter planting beds.
But Pastorius’ most important assets, by far, are its trees.
For decades, FoPP has annually paid for the treatment of the park’s hemlocks to protect against the woolly Adelgid pest and spider mites, and pruned and maintained many of the legacy trees. However, with the aging and increasing loss of its original trees, Pastorius Park is now at an important crossroads.
For the sake of the park’s future, while also preserving its original Olmsted-inspired design and intent as a passive green space, now is the time to begin a thorough restoration of Pastorius to prepare the park for the next generation. This means planting a diverse selection of new trees, flowering, deciduous, evergreens, and shrubs beneficial to birds and other wildlife.
The good news is that FoPP is fortunate to have great advisors for this restoration work in Paul Meyer (retired director of Morris Arboretum) and Rob Fleming (landscape architect and historian, with an interest in ecological restoration). Paul and Rob have advised us every step of the way, starting with removal of invasives from the park. Please see the Pastorius Park restoration map on the following page.
Area 1 on the map is FoPP’s Pilot Restoration Project. This is the intersection of Roanoke/W. Abington, at the SE entrance to the park. This April FoPP had arborist Erik Werner of Hedgerows and his crew remove islands of invasive plants, as well as a Norway maple that was contributing to the invasive problem. As a consequence of these removals, this end of the park has been opened up, creating more light and vistas into the park’s central meadow. The community reaction to this work has been overwhelmingly positive.
The next stage in the Area 1 restoration work is maintenance of weeds by FoPP volunteers, prep of planting beds and, finally, a planting plan for fall 2021. Rob and Paul have provided us with this planting plan, consisting of 39 trees and 29 shrubs. The larger trees will be installed by an arborist, while the container shrubs will be planted by volunteers. The general positioning of the new trees and shrubs has already been laid out with flags in both Area 1 and Area 2 where extended volunteer work to remove invasives occurred earlier this spring.
The Pilot Project at Roanoke/W. Abington and the Lincoln Dr. entrance to the park provides a template for how restoration work at Pastorius will proceed from Fall 2021 going into Spring and Summer 2022:
1) Hire contractors to do the toughest removal of invasives
2) Have volunteers follow up with clean up and regular maintenance, and
3) Planting of larger trees by contractors; smaller plants to be installed by volunteers
Everything is in place to do this restoration planting at Pastorius Park, but what is sorely needed now is sustained funding. FoPP is respectfully requesting that community members recognize the importance of this restoration work and consider contributing now so that FoPP can reserve trees and shrubs while they are still available for our fall planting. Most important, your help will enable us to harness matching grants that will help fund tree work going into 2022.
Our goal is to raise a total of $60,000. This is the most ambitious goal ever for FoPP and will require many gifts, both large and small. We need to demonstrate to our larger donors a broad-based community effort. Please show your support for this community asset that we treasure.
Tracy Gardner, President
Friends of Pastorius Park
Friends of Pastorius Park is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, and the full amount of your contribution is tax deductible.
Donate online below or mail checks to:
Friends of Pastorius Park
P.O. Box 27158
Market Square Station
Philadelphia, PA 19118