Jul 29, 2014
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Great American Clean Up, Tucker Style

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a plan, energetic volunteers, and some wheel barrows.

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The day flowed like a winding creek familiar with its own twists and turns. We’re old pros now, all in our work gloves, long pants, and sun screen. Over fifty volunteers, shovels and pitch forks in hand, marched down the newly blazed walking trail at the Tucker Nature Preserve.

Our mission? Clear the outdoor classroom area, cut a fallen log into seats for the kids, and remove invasive plants.

has sponsored the for the past two years, hoping to make it an annual tradition.

“The toughest job is definitely the invasive plant removal,” explains Beth White, co-chair of Tucker Civic Association’s Parks and Green Space committee. “Many native trees at the Preserve are covered in English Ivy and Wisteria which can damage or even kill the trees if not dealt with.”

“My favorite piece of equipment is the weed wrench which is used to pull up Chinese privet,” White continues. “The wrench allows even a small person to pull out privet that’s 15 feet high. It makes it easy and it’s fun to work.”

Tucker Civic partnered with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and Park Pride for logistics support and freebies such as t-shirts and bottled water.

“We’ve (TCA) partnered with Park Pride and Keep DeKalb Beautiful on several projects, including the adopt-the-marta stop program. They’re both great resources to help volunteers find ways to improve their community,” White explains.

Representatives from the Tucker Optimist Club donated a Dogwood tree and, with the help from Daisy and Brownie Troop 11587, planted the tree and various flowers near the entrance to the Preserve. Dozens of volunteers laid mulch further down the trails, and local resident Tom Wright put in the last park bench.

The Tucker Nature Preserve now has three benches and one picnic table already in place, with one more table left to be installed.

Local businesses showed their support as well. The Home Depot by North DeKalb Mall donated plants, the Tucker restaurant provided chicken biscuits, and the across the street from the Preserve provided snacks and drinks.

I personally consider the nine-acre Preserve Tucker’s new “downtown green space” since it’s walking distance from , the , and the newly-renovated Main Street downtown.

We’re hoping to plan community events at the Preserve, such as movie nights or a concert series.

Mission accomplished? Not quite. Lots more invasive plants to remove and the outdoor classroom still needs completing. But did the day bring smiles and satisfaction? Absolutely.

For more information on how you can get involved with the Tucker Nature Preserve, email: parks@tuckercivic.org

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