The Bridge is Dead! Long Live the Bridge(s)!
The tree contractors that DeKalb County Parks dispatched to tackle a backlog of fallen and partially-fallen trees continued their work last week, right before the holiday weekend.
Several of you have noted, as we have, that the Park is still a mess as a result of their efforts… so far. The County is aware of the state of things, and they assure us that the jobs will be completed properly and the sites cleaned up.
However, please note that the old bridge, which was already slated to be removed and replaced in the next month or so, was an early casualty of the work. There was a large tree leaning over the bridge, and when it was felled, it destroyed that dilapidated span.
We will put up some signs and safety tape to redirect trail walkers away from this dangerous drop. Please avoid that immediate area, and please do not cause further erosion damage by clambering down the nearby creek banks. We will need intact banks to support the new bridges. For those of you familiar with the trails, this means:
- take the green trail along the west side of the park, or
- the blue trail along the east side, or
- if you do take the white trail through the center, plan on heading right along the yellow trail when you get to where the bridge stood, instead of trying to cross there.
In our next update, we’ll include the new trail map we’ve been developing, marked with detours, and also we will mark where the new bridges will be installed.
Volunteer Work Day: Saturday, Sept. 19 9a-12p
Chaff-flower summer is over! Thanks to everyone who donated their time to help us continue our efforts to remove that aggressive new invasive from our Park. We made huge progress, and we’re confident that in future summers, controlling it will now be easier.
Our next work day is in less than 2 weeks, Saturday Sept. 19. Please join us as we continue maintaining and marking trails (and preparing the new bridge sites and access trails!), removing some English ivy and other invasives, adding signage and information kiosks, and picking up trash. (We’ve got tools and clean, laundered work gloves. But please bring your mask! The County requires us to take this sensible public health measure during the pandemic.)
Monthly Work Days. Our future dates for 2020-2021 are still to be determined:
- Oct Saturday tba, 9a-12p
- Nov & Dec, switching to Sunday afternoons tba
- Jan – April 2021, Sunday afternoons tba
- May – August 2021, Saturday mornings tba
Micro Projects. For those of you who wish to help the Park but are not interested or available for this summer’s work days, we have a new set of opportunities for you! We can get the County’s permission for some additional informal, individual or very-small-group activities. Please email us directly if you have some time and would like to help out while we are operating in this different manner. We are notlimited to weekends now, because many people now have available time during weekdays.
Micro-projects for August include:
- Weeding. Some of the lower park has large patches of another invasive, Nepal grass. You’ll recognize this pest from your own yards – SUPER easy to pull up, so quite a satisfying way to spend a half hour or so. Again, we can point you to areas that need help, and you can pull away at your convenience!
- Beautifying the Mason Mill Road walk-in entrance. The abandoned construction is an eyesore, but that doesn’t mean we can spruce up our adjacent park entrance. Mowing, weeding, and arranging the cut-down tree segments to make a more attractive trail entrance can help immediately, even as we work on longer-term plans to make that entrance more inviting.
- Spreading mulch under the playground equipment. There are two piles of shredded trees that need to be raked across the playground area, to refresh the landing surfaces for little ones playing on the equipment.
Email us at [email protected], and we can set you up!
Coming this Fall: Planning Meeting via Zoom
This year, we’ve FINALLY been able to start moving away from “all privet removal, all the time” to a more balanced and fun set of activities. This includes our new native species garden taking shape along the far end of the field, and some trail mapping that should shortly result in an update set of maps online and in park kiosks.
We’ve also just selected the two locations that will be the sites of two new bridges we will build this fall, to replace the scary old bridge in the center of the park (and stop erosion of the nearby creek banks).
UPDATE: With the accidental demolition of the old bridge, we will be accelerating our proposals and plans to replace and upgrade several of the water crossings. Please watch for opportunities to contribute funds, help procure the materials, and build the new spans on site.
Before we move into some other plans that will involve trails, seating, signage, and more water crossings, the leadership of the Friends of Thomson Park would like to get public comments on priorities and project ideas, to make sure our vision is in line with the people who use the park, those who live near the park, and those whose tax dollars pay for the County services that tend to the park.
Watch for emails and signs announcing an online Zoom meeting at which we can share some maps and vision statements and get your comments and questions.
Thank you all for your support of Friends of Thomson Park.
Chair & Coordinator,
Patrick S. Noonan
(Mason Woods Dr. mobile 678-358-5961)