You’ve heard of having a Chili Cook-off? Well, how about a CHILLY KICK-OFF?! 

by Margret Mueller
 

That’s what happened Saturday, December 8, when a few hardy souls met at Hart’s Mill (in 40-degree weather) to get started with our Forest Stewardship mandate attend to certain parcels of land.  Consider the Wood Wide Web project officially launched!  Spearheaded by Land Stewardship Circle member, Randy Dodd, over the next two years we will be working approximately monthly from fall to spring to thin several of our forest stands, managing our invasive trees, and generally appreciating and learning about Hart’s Mill’s wooded areas.  

With Randy’s thoughtful guidance, we were able to make a good start on Stand 6, respectfully removing some pines from crowded areas and less respectfully whacking every invasive privet and ailanthus sapling we could find.  For now, the logs and trimmings are in segregated piles lining the driveway, the former to be chipped for mulch, and the latter to provide habitat and weed suppression while it degrades into useful nutrients for the land.
 
While felling trees can be a bit traumatic, we were guided by our P & I number two that states, “we are abidingly loyal to the land”—we are bound to work toward forest protection, health and restoration. It was also possible to see a certain beauty in our work; the cooperation among team members, the “opening”of the woods, the smell of fresh pine in the cold air, and for me, the breathtaking up-close beauty of the most pristine, perfect pine cones I have ever seen.
 
Much gratitude to Randy, Jeffry, Hope, Nell, Virginia, and Margret for this rewarding workday.
 
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