Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ June 2012

People, Planet, Prosperity (P3) on the Local Level

By Carole A. Barth

Call it P3, triple bottom line, win-win-win, or just common sense; sometimes a simple idea creates benefits like ripples in a pond.

Two weeks ago, the Northwood Four Corners Civic Association (NFCCA) sponsored a cleanup of the Rachel Carson Meadow in the North Four Corners Park.  Seven Blair High School students, who participate in the MoCo Recreation Department’s Sports Academy Program, helped 10 residents in removing invasive plants and clearing areas around trees.  In response to recent concerns that at-risk youth need more opportunities to earn money while having positive learning experiences, the NFCCA paid the students for their time.

Hiring the teens really benefitted the park, resulting in much more progress than could have been achieved with volunteers alone.  At least two truckloads of wineberry, porcelain berry, bush honeysuckle, multiflora rose, and English ivy were removed.  The magnificent 185+year-old black walnut tree is now clear of its surrounding invasives, as is the specimen Austrian Pine (a landscape remnant from the school which once occupied part of the site).  In addition, we made good headway on the multiflora rose under the line of maple trees.  Native herbaceous plants (pokeweed, sweet Cicely, and daisy fleabane) now have a chance to thrive and spread.

NFCCA gained a clean site for the fourth annual Rachel Carson Meadow Festival, which was held on Saturday, 19 May. (See article.)  The festival celebrates what Rachel Carson called the “sense of wonder” and honors her call for adults to share the appreciation of nature with young people.  Indeed, as mature weed warriors, new volunteers, and young folks worked side by side, we shared discoveries such as praying mantis egg cases and the sweet honey smell of daisy fleabane flowers.

The “ripples” have continued to spread as this event generated the following comments:

So if the park in your neighborhood needs some “TLC,” or if you have community projects that could use some strength and enthusiasm, consider it an opportunity to create a “people, planet, and prosperity” project.  Photos of the cleanup are posted on Facebook at [website no longer active].   ■

   © 2012 NFCCA  [Source:]