The First Year of ROR

Let’s kick these blogs off by telling you a bit about who we are and what we hope to accomplish! Each Blog post will be a new, exciting topic on subjects such as native plants, landscaping, foragables, and the environment around us.

We are Restore Our Roots (“ROR”) located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. We started with just a few members of the local community who had a passion for gardening and environmental stewardship. ROR is a sub committee of the Downingtown Parks and Recreation Commission. 

Our first project was to improve water quality within our watershed by reducing flooding effects in areas of Kerr Park through native plantings. Over this year, as we have grown and connected with members of the community around us, many people have reached out for our assistance on their personal properties with plants. In addition to the Kerr Park Project, we are assisting homeowners with their wetland property, advising an Eagle Scout Project, and leading educational outreach programs partnered with Downingtown Tree Commission. 

In addition to these projects and events, in October of 2019 we participated in Downingtown’s Boo Bash Halloween event, started our monthly newsletter in November 2019 , and in December 2019 we returned to Kerr Park, organizing an invasive plant removal event which included Livestaking. 2020 was off to a great start as we planned our April phase 1 native planting along the stream banks next to the playground in Kerr Park. We ordered 200 native trees and shrubs to plant. Due to the onset of the pandemic our April event had to be cancelled to the public, however we still were able to, as a small group, get trees planted. As the community saw our tree planting, they got excited and were asking a lot of questions so in May 2020 we started hosting volunteer zoom meetings as an introduction to ROR. Other community events have included a Downingtown Library presentation on composting. One of many presentations planned with the Downingtown Shade Tree Commission and Downingtown Library. 

In October of 2020 an Eagle Scout Project was started in Kerr Park in Hole 3 of the Disk Golf Course. They removed invasive species, downed trees, and other plants that were in the path. November 2020 the Scout brought his Troop and members of ROR to plant native trees and shrubs along the edges of the path and on the forest edge. Trees and shrubs planted include Pawpaw, American Holly, American Chestnut, Highbush Blueberry, and Ninebark. Keeping busy on all the projects, we also started invasive removal on private wetland throughout October and November with ROR members and volunteers. 

In the future we hope to continue to restore the riparian buffer along the stream at Kerr Park, improve habitat for wildlife, and beautify our community. We have plans to continue educating our neighbors and assisting work of other community groups. Keep checking in for more adventures from Restore Our Roots! 

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