Carpenter’s Woods, part of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park system, is located in the northwestern part of the city. Preserved from development in 1916 specifically because of its importance to a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species, Carpenter’s Woods is part of a global network of places recognized by the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International for its value to bird conservation.
Besides woodpeckers and warblers, Carpenter’s Woods is a nature-lover’s delight, filled with toads and butterflies, wild mushrooms and skunk cabbage, and so much more. Active during all seasons, you can enjoy walking the trails, sledding, or, as Gerald Stern wrote, just laying “for hours with my eyes closed listening to the great sounds.”
Carpenter’s Woods is preserved and maintained as an ecologically important natural area and public resource by the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods. Through their voluntary efforts, the Friends provide ongoing maintenance, educational programming, and public information about Carpenter’s Woods.
GROVE: Winter 2015
GROVE: early summer 2015
The upper photo shows what GROVE looks like now that we have taken the fence down in December. It was the perfect time to do so. The ground was soft and we could see what we were doing. Several volunteers joined us ready to remove invasives but I don’t recommend doing much invasive removal work during the winter – the insects live in the leaf litter and the birds will need them come spring. I remove any plant with caution especially in the winter. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do at the time.
Overall GROVE is doing well. Native trees and shrubs are doing very well. When I have any doubt as to its progress, I simply have to remember that it used to be a mature knotweed forest surrounded by privet, burning bush, and multiflora rose.
There is some occasional knotweed and since the second planting we have an issue with lesser celandine. I am pondering adding some wetland ferns to the ground cover this season and see how that works out. (With Curtis’ approval of course!)
Even though the fence is down I still regard GROVE and its surroundings as my responsibility and will gladly return to tend it several times a year as I have been doing since the beginning.
This year I received my certificate in Advanced Field Botany (although I continue to study every chance I can get). I now can complete a wetland delineation using vegetation and serve on my town’s Conservation Commission. I serve as a Plant Conservation Volunteer leading surveys of rare plants for the state of MA. I mention these qualifications to reassure you that I take my work in GROVE very seriously – work that I hope to continue for a long time.
Happy 2016! Best, Louise Barteau
If you’ve been in Carpenter’s Woods recently, you’ve probably noticed cut stumps painted blue and signs posted warning of herbicide treatments.
A cut stump in Carpenter’s Woods, treated with herbicide containing a blue dye.
The current work is being done by a consultant/contractor, Land Studies, Inc. They are presently controlling a variety of invasive plants, including but not limited to devil’s walking stick, winged euonymous, bittersweet and porcelainberry. These species have been targeted for removal on volunteer service days held by Friends of Carpenter’s Woods, but they are widespread and cannot be contained by manual removal alone. Weather permitting, the contractors’ work will be completed this week.
The signs are standard practice for informing park users that herbicides are being used in a particular section that people (and pets) frequently use, particularly along trails. There should be a sign posted at both ends of the trail that runs through the area being worked on to notify trail users coming from either direction. Signs are usually left up for a day or so after the application.
The herbicide being used is Garlon 4 Ultra mixed with horticultural oil and blue marker dye. Garlon is used to kill invasive woody plants, typically in two ways. The first way is to cut the stem of the unwanted target plant and spray the mixture on the cut surface of the stem. This conducts the active ingredient to the roots, killing the plant. The second way is to spray around the circumference of a plant, up to about 15 inches above the ground surface. The horticultural oil carries the active ingredient into the plant’s cambium, killing the plant. Garlon 4 is highly specific to plants and poses little concern to people and animals. Keeping dogs on a leash (which is a park rule in any case) prevents them from running around the applicators and also rubbing against or ingesting any freshly-applied herbicide.
For more information and a description of the initial project, view the project fact sheet from PP&R.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Carpenter’s Woods Love Your Park Volunteer Day, Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 AM to 1 PM.
Join David Bower of Parks & Rec and Friends of Carpenter’s Woods for our final planting of the season (we have trees and bulbs to plant) and to work on cleaning up the trails and replacing the cork on our wonderful kiosks before the winter freeze sets in.
Come for the entire morning or an hour or more.
Expert guidance, tools, and work gloves provided.
Dress for the weather and working in the Woods.
Wear long sleeves and long pants—poison ivy is still potent, even in the cold months!
Bring a bottle of water.
See you in the Woods!
It’s time for the Love Your Park Week Spring Fest in Carpenter’s Woods!
Please join Friends of Carpenter’s Woods for 2 Saturdays of FREE events, including Trail Walks, Children’s Bird Pageant, and a BirdPHILLY Bird Walk. It promises to be a great time in the woods with knowledgeable experts and friends!
Bring your family, your neighbors, and your friends for a great day in the lovely Springtime in Carpenter’s Woods.
Schedule of events and poster are below. See you in the Woods!
*Note: Ken LeRoy’s 2:30 trail walk on 5/9 @ 2:30 has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict.
2015 Spring Fest Schedule (PDF)
Carpenter’s Woods Spring Fest 2015 (PDF)