Sir John's Homestead Park Improvements
The "park" is located immediately north of Sir John's Homestead to the west of the entrance to Solitaire Court. It extends from the street to the area of trees that extend to the creek behind. This area provides a background to the park and is designated as a "Natural Area". It had become overgrown and populated with thistles and burdock. During the spring of 2011, Association volunteers worked with the Natural Areas Coordinator (NAC), cut back overgrown shrubs and small trees, and removed a truck load of weeds. This was followed by planting of about 50 shrubs and trees. In the fall of 2011, volunteers planted 60 more shrubs along part of the front. In future, more shrubs will be planted to complete the boundary between the natural area and the grass area. Wood chips are being spread to restrict weed growth and protect the young shrubs. The new shrubs are cranberry, dogwood, fragrant sumac and nannyberry which should provide a pleasant boundary.
For many years, the city had not cut part of the former grassy area and 2 m high weeds had taken over. In the fall of 2010, at the Association's request, the high weeds were cut down by city staff and the area mowed with the rest of the grass. In the fall of 2011, city staff applied a safe, natural, non-selective herbicide, roto-tilled and applied grass seed. All the work done follows provincial guidelines. City staff have committed to implement an aggressive cultural maintenance program within this area in the form of monthly aeration, fertilization, spring and summer topdressing, overseeding and mowing at a height of 3". This maintenance program is said to be greatly effective and efficient in strengthening the turf stand and crowding out weeds.