Thursday, March 22, 2012

Intense interest in...a path?

Photo: NYCgarden

One rather inaccurate and perhaps predictably salacious story in The Brooklyn Paper about the path we cribbed two weeks ago and all hell breaks loose in the linkosphere, where stories are not so much written, as repeated...

New York Magazine - their angle? We hate Park Slope.
The American Conservative (?!) - same angle: We also hate Park Slope! (Who knew?)

Thanks to Brownstoner and Gothamist, and recently, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, for sticking to the facts. It's refreshing.

As a reminder, here is the path in question

The assumptions about and hate towards Park Slope fascinate me. First, how is it relevant? Second, the volunteers come from all over: Cobble Hill, Kensington, NEW JERSEY, Prospect Heights, Manhattan. Plus two bona fide Park Slopers.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Surreal spring

Above, on this first day of spring (running approximately 23 days ahead of schedule) we have: The woods.

Condom, plastic enema bottle. 


Moss and (possible) Ornithogalum umbellatum - star of Bethlehem.



Sanguinaria canadensis - bloodroot.

Human excrement.




Ranunculus ficaria - lesser celandine. 

There you have it. The woods in Prospect Park. A surreal day. And I didn't even mention the fish.

Thanks to Franck, Frank, Mary and Joni, and David our Learned Leader.

Litter Mob 22 Results:

7 bags of trash gathered
12 Rubus plants transplanted from the Butterfly Meadow to The Slope
1 bag of fish dispersed

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Litter mobbing during the vernal equinox

Photo: Franck, the Scooter-riding Frenchman

Tuesday, March 20th. That would be spring.

Come and join us at 9am for three hours of litter gathering and woodland restoration in the last woods in Brooklyn.

Here are directions. Please comment or email if you are able to be there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The log haulers

There is this compacted, eroded informal path - desire line - leading to a ridge and Rick's Place in the woods. It has been ceded to the foot traffic. But in order to help prevent more erosion, David brought us these logs. Laying them across the path is called cribbing. Like making log steps.

All images courtesy of the NYCGarden

They were formidable, though lighter than they looked - nice and dry. Still...

Franck the Frenchman's lumberjack impersonation was impressive.  Monty Python, anyone?

We used David's medieval log pinchers - I don't remember their name - to haul off our first log. Later we carried logs two by two.

Yes. I always haul logs in white. Always have, always will.

We laid them all the way up that path, nestling them into the soil after digging it up with mattocks. Our cribbing looked pretty good after an hour-and-a-half.

Luke, above, lower left, is a student at NYU, and took lots more pictures. I'll post them when they arrive in my inbox. Luke is studying anthropology and working on project called The History of Kindness, and thought the Mob might be good place to start.

He can wield a mattock and hammer in stakes. And he says he'll come back.

Litter Mob 21's Results:

One eroded path cribbed with nine logs and stakes
Four bags of trash collected.

Thanks to Franck, Frank, Elizabeth, Luke and David. Precious little litter recovered, except in the lowlands where Frank was working. The notorious Slope? Practically pristine. What it all means I cannot say.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Forward motion

Last mob, last Tuesday, we called the litter-gathering quits at half time. Four of us had gathered 6 very heavy bags. Our Learned Leader* (David, from the Natural Resources Crew) had a job for us - erecting a  temporary fence to stop foot traffic from compacting the soil on the forest floor between two main paths. Compacted soil is dead soil. The sexual activities in these woods create a lot of litter, yes, as well as the unwelcome gifts of human waste we must side-step, but the soil compaction is actually worse for the woods themselves. The litter is unsightly, and in some cases hazardous to health, but it doesn't kill the woodland. Compaction does.

With mattocks we broke up the path and then spread leaf litter. We hauled dead branches across other entrances. We hammered in rebar fence posts, cut wire and twisted it to secure fence to post.

Below - the trashcans had disappeared late last year. Either stolen or moved to other parts of the park. They had returned, and had fresh bags. I looked into them. Some food litter, nicely thrown away, but mostly? Bagged doggy poo. So at least dog owners are doing their bit. I have stepped in human poo, horse poo...but never doggy poo. Thank you, dog people.

And after it all, we fanned out to our various homes and work spaces.

How to leave a litter mob:

Franck, scooting off in style.

* Learned leader:  from the BBC's  Rumpole of the Bailey