Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Landscape Committee

C:\Users\Mary Sapp\Dropbox\Personal\Lakeport\Ripples\2018 Summer\Photos\Entrance 2.jpgThis month marks a transition in the leadership of the Landscape Committee. Pete Hatfield has just completed a year as chair, and we are grateful for his work with all of the projects going on during that time. We also appreciate Karen Cook’s willingness to take over at this point. Although the “big project” this coming year will be the landscaping and shoreline restoration next to the new dock, other landscaping projects are also in the works.

In July SavATree will remove two large dead white pines to the east of the entrance to Lakeport along Sunrise Valley Drive and trim branches from 13 other trees on common property. There is still time to contact Brian Kayhart to get a quote for your own tree work (at a lower cost since your work would be done in conjunction with the work on common property). If you are interested, send an email right away to BKayhart@savatree.com or call Brian at (703) 709-0007 with the following information: your name, address, phone number, email address, the location and description of the tree(s), and the type of work (e.g., trim, treat, or remove) for which you would like to receive a quote. Note that you do not have to meet with Brian if you send a clear description of the tree(s) needing work.

The new dock will expose around eight feet of shoreline that will need to be restored. After consulting with Reston Association (RA), we decided to install bio-logs to build up and retain that section of shoreline and then extend them around the nearby point of land (a total of 80 feet of shoreline, with a double stack of logs). RA is graciously donating the bio-logs and will lend us waders, but we need volunteers to help install the logs and to plant native water plants in them to hold the shoreline in place after the logs disintegrate in a few years (see https://www.reston.org/portals/3/Parks-Recreation-Events/Nature/Publications/PDF/ShorelineStabilization.pdf for more information about bio-logs). Once the dock construction is completed, a landscaper will remove existing plants to the west of the dock (Reston considers the decorative grasses to be invasive); re-grade the area; install decorative boulders, new native landscaping, and mulch; and address storm-water runoff from the RA path.

It is expected that the excavator that will be required to drive the pilings for the new dock will encroach on nearby landscaped areas, damaging the plants that are there. Volunteers (Pete Hatfield, Kevin Dandy, Jonathan Hammer, and Kay Quam) have already moved some of the existing plants, but we’ve decided to relocate some additional plants as well (and soon). Please contact Karen Cook (karenccook@verizon.net) if you would be willing to help in that effort (or join the Landscape Committee). After the work is done, a landscaper will install new plants to restore the landscaped areas.

You may have noticed that the hedge of Japanese hollies near the Safeway brick wall has not been looking good. Unfortunately the hollies have been diagnosed with Botryosphaeria canker. Volunteers have periodically pruned away infected branches, but it’s turning into a losing battle. The Landscape Committee obtained a proposal to remove the hollies, grade the area (which will remove some of the infected soil and also mitigate runoff of mulch across the street into driveways), and replace the mulch. The plan is to let the area lie fallow for a year and then add new plants in fall 2019. The committee is also investigating possible options for mitigating storm-water runoff down the hill between 1952 and 1954 Lakeport Way.

New liriope were recently installed by volunteers (Pete Hatfield, Gil Blankespoor, Terrill Evon, Paul Yeloushan, and Stephen Sapp) by the entrance and next to the wood fence leading down to the South Lakes Village dock to replace those killed when RA repaved the path last fall (with the cost reimbursed by RA ☺). RA also plans to remove leftover gravel and sod next to the section of the path that goes through Triangle Park. Watering for the new sod and the new plants from this year and last fall is also being handled by Lakeport volunteers (Don Nagley, Gail Pitches, Gil Blankespoor, Stephen Sapp, Lola Miller, and Phong Nguyen).

Earlier this month Karen Cook and a couple of other Lakeport residents participated in a walk-through with Blade Runners, our landscape maintenance contractor, to discuss areas that would benefit from additional weeding and trimming and to clarify the mowing schedule (every 7-10 days, depending on rain), as well as other landscape needs. Blade Runners’ response was positive, and we anticipate the walk-through will translate into improved maintenance.

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