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ACFL Maintenance Report MARCH – 2021 by Steve Phillips <br />March 24, 2021 <br />Much of this month was fairly routine with many miscellaneous tasks – tree removals from trails, garbage, restrooms, <br />beaver material removal from 32nd street’s beaver deceiver, and a few efforts assisting the rest of the Parks crew. <br />The highlight of this past month actually happened last month, on February 27, when we held our first volunteer work <br />party since February 8, 2020. To keep a handle on social distancing, which we have been maintaining even outdoors, we <br />limited the number of signups and structured the work party into three groups. Groups were led by myself, Bob Vaux, <br />and Asa Deane of the Friends of the Forest. One group devoted the three-hour event to litter pickup on Heart Lake Road. <br />The other two groups targeted invasive plants – mostly Holly, but also evergreen daphne, English ivy, and invasive <br />blackberry – in the area north of Heart Lake highlighted in green below. <br /> <br />It would be impossible to overstate how grateful we are to the volunteers who came. Although it’s short-lived, having <br />the shoulders of Heart Lake Road completely free of litter is a gift to the community. And having a group diligently scour <br />the forest for invasive species is extremely important to the long-term health of this ecosystem. This event came at a <br />perfect time, as we have all been working hard to keep up with everything else. THANK YOU. <br />This month, I again patched potholes on the roads leading into Heart Lake, Little Cranberry Lake, and Whistle Lake. At <br />Little Cranberry and Whistle, I used a different material this time rather than the pure 1 ¼ ” or 5/8” gravel as in the past. <br />This material has some larger rocks as well as finer material, so I’m hoping that the larger material will stay in place <br />better than just a uniform mix of smaller gravel. Time will tell. <br />Yesterday I took our small skiff out to Little Cranberry Lake to fix our log boom and pick up shoreline litter. Shout out to <br />Sky Guthrie for helping me load and unload the watercraft on both ends of the trip. Thanks Sky! <br />I spent a day and a half helping the Parks crew with another large tree removal at Grandview Cemetery. This was <br />another casualty of high winds coupled with saturated soils. <br />Another half day was spent removing holiday lights from Downtown trees using our lift truck. This was good practice for <br />me, as it takes practice to become comfortable working at heights. As an arborist, I will likely see more aerial tree work, <br />so it is good to develop this level of comfort before needing to run a handsaw or chainsaw at this height. <br />Miscellaneous Good News <br />I noticed the first “spring-gold” (Lomatium utriculatum) just beginning to flower on Sugarloaf on March 8, and also noted <br />the first rufous hummingbird heard of the year. Spring has sprung!