It’s always a little hard this time of year to believe that summer is drawing to a close. Nonetheless, it was a very busy summer at Topsmead and there is, as seems always, a lot to share.
BUT - First and foremost, we have a new workshop offering!
Artist and teacher Judith Bird (www.judithbirdart.com) will lead this 2-hour session with an introductory talk followed by time in the fields, walkways, and woodlands of Topsmead. No previous art or writing experience necessary! For details and to register, please download the flyer HERE. Any questions just email me at email@example.com !
August saw the completion of our first year as a friend’s organization. We are patting ourselves on the back but also taking a little time to take stock. WE NEED YOUR INPUT…. Please take a few minutes (it really is just a few) to respond to our members survey and let us know what you think. Go to: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/QBB3bU
Thanks to months of planning by garden designer Caroline King and to the generosity and hard work of many supporters, the new Orintas Family Butterfly Garden is now a beautiful reality. I hope you have had a chance to visit it. SO, just last weekend, we celebrated this success. We held a British Tea Party—one which our late benefactor, Miss Edith Chase, might have enjoyed - and took time to acknowledge everyone's efforts. We also held a silent auction with profits going towards garden maintenance. It was a truly lovely day with the event enjoyed by all. The auction was a great success as well!
The Monarch Butterfly project with local students was also a huge success this summer with more than 80% of the butterflies raised flying off into the sunset. 😊
You might also notice several new FTSF sponsored/supported features at Topsmead. The DEEP installed lighting and outlets in the shed (also known as the Garage) adjacent to the Chase House. Too, FTSF put up a user-friendly map both in the Garage and in the parking lot to help folks find the butterfly garden. We also installed a donation box at the parking lot in hopes that visitors will help fund ongoing enhancements at Topsmead.
Finally, the FTSF Board heartily thanks the volunteers who stayed at the gate on three separate Sundays to open it as needed. It was an experiment with accommodating those with disabilities and allowing drivers to go up to the Chase House to drop off passengers. We learned that there is small, but notable latent demand for easier access to the area of the house for those in need and which we will work to address in the coming year.
We are sad to see summer end, but we are proud of what we accomplished. We are also working on a number of projects for the fall. We also plan to be at the White Memorial Nature Day on September 28th, if you want to stop by and say hello! Please stay tuned, plan to join us for the workshop, then visit us at White Memorial, and to attend the annual meeting in October. Then, we hope you will join us in celebrating our first year while helping us plan for the next one.
Happy Labor Day – the last summer hurrah!
Hello everyone and happy summer!
With these hot temperatures and sunny days, summer is certainly here with energy! It also certainly has been a gorgeous season up at Topsmead. Our Topsmead in Bloom picnic kicked off our Friends summer activities. Thank you to all who could join us there. Our group’s endless energy (it seems) will be applied to a number of upcoming summer projects at Topsmead in the next few months. If you can donate time to any one of these efforts, I’d love to hear from you.
Our Board of Directors met up at Topsmead last weekend for a picnic lunch and meeting (you may have seen us there?). We paused to reflect on what we have accomplished so far on the brink of the last quarter of our first year. It’s remarkable. Our organization has done a lot, many things successfully, yet some with room for improvement. The Board welcomes your thoughts and feedback on how we are moving along so far; we can use your perspective always.
Coming up this summer!
· Students from 2 schools have been undertaking a Monarch Butterfly project. High school students are working with their teacher to collect Monarch Butterfly eggs, nurture them to hatching, and then tag the butterflies before releasing them.
· FTSF volunteers cleaned the walls of the Carriage Shed and painted the ceiling. The DEEP will be adding a gravel floor, new electrical outlets, and lighting soon. Once that is done, we can move ahead with bringing some cabinets into the Carriage Shed to open a FTSF Welcome Center and provide more information for visitors to Topsmead.
· We are experimenting with having regular landscaping days at Topsmead. Every Tuesday morning, we hope to have a few FTSF volunteers spend a couple of hours at Topsmead helping their small staff trim bushes, edge the gardens, and pull weeds and vines. If you want to help out and are willing to spend a couple of hours letting go of those day-to-day frustrations with yanking and trimming, please contact Barbara Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· On July 18th we will be working with DEEP staff to install a donated boardwalk for the ecology trail. It will create a walkway over some wetland areas along the trail.
· We are excited that Friends of Topsmead State Forest has been chosen for New Morning Market (Woodbury) Bags for Change program for July 16 through October 16. Every time a customer uses a reusable bag, New Morning Market will give them a wooden nickel that they can then choose to donate to 3 charities including Friends of Topsmead. At the end of 3 months New Morning Market will tally all the wooden nickels and donate the total to us. So, look for us at the New Morning Market checkout aisles!
· Finally, we are in the planning stages for 5 (count em’ – 5!) programs or events at Topsmead between now at the end of the year. So – stay tuned! The first will be a dedication event for the new Orintas Butterfly garden in August. If you have not been to see the new garden, please do so. Its growing just beautifully.
Its been wonderful to get to know some of you in person this spring and summer as we all make our way to spending time enjoying Topsmead. Hopefully, I’ll meet any more of you in the months to come. 😊 Carol