By Aminah McNulty
Thank you to our volunteers who came out to support the EPMA Arnold Arboretum Clean-Up Day: Love Your Block. We were joined by Nina Brown, President of the Arboretum Park Conservancy (APC), Ginnie Marcotte, Sally Muspratt, both APC board members, and a handful of other dedicated volunteers.
Nina Brown gave us a brief overview of the history of the Bussey Brook Meadow and Blackwell Footpath which connects the Forest Hills MBTA Station to the Arboretum’s original South Street Gate.
We split into two groups to tackle the clean-up. Group 1 collected trash from around the meadow, while Group 2 tackled the invasive species cluttering the slope abutting the MBTA Commuter Rail. We pulled mammoth vines of Oriental Bittersweet, a woody vine that can grow up to 60 feet long with up to 6 inches in diameter, away from the suffocating native oak and maple trees. With sharp clippers and prodigious upper body strength, we cut the vines at waist height to both untangle them moving up the tree and pull them up from the root. My favorite lesson from the Clean-Up was on using the orange weed wrench. We were able to pull roots that spanned over four feet into the ground!
After the satisfaction of our clean-up, we headed over to the main Arboretum path to enjoy the flowers and activities of Lilac Saturday. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s clean-up!