If you’ve been to the park recently you may have seen the return of the former great lawn. While the construction is underway it is very important that everyone understand exactly what is going on. Tom Vanderbeck whose company is Vanderbeck Tree Experts is donating the services of his company to work on and complete the project.
1. Although during construction things may look messy and there may be piles of rubbish, everything being done is using the utmost care in protecting the natural environment. The entire great lawn area has been inspected several times, which includes by Oakland’s Shade Tree Commission. All the trees, bushes, vines and weeds being removed are non-essential scrub growth. The only trees that are environmentally essential are the large four sugar maple trees along the bowling alley fence line. These trees as well as many other perimeter trees will be protected and not removed. Vanderbeck Tree Experts are also highly experienced and trained in environmental safety. Their credentials can be found HERE.
2. Once the area is cleaned and debris removed we will be seeding and asking people not to walk on the future lawn. We need to allow the seeds to grow into the lawn.
3. Upon the completion of the lawn Vanderbeck Tree Experts will be planting a red oak tree with a commemorative plaque.
4. Over the next year we will begin repopulating the lawn with more significant trees to help provide shade for park goers and hold some bird-houses. We have also been getting requests for the planting of memorial trees. If you wish to purchase and plant a remembrance tree please contact Mike Guadagnino. With help of the Shade Tree Commission we will be choosing the right trees for the area (including memorial trees) in hopes of bringing many different types of birds into the park.
5. We have tentatively been approved for a grant to pay for ½ the band shell and have begun to receive donations for the ½ match. Once the funds necessary for the other half have been procured we will be bringing a permanent band shell to the park. If everything goes well, hopefully it will happen late this summer.
We ask that during these early phases of construction to please be patient; what you may see (as with all projects) is not what the park will look like or represent once completed. Once again Thank You to Tom Vanderbeck who has donated his company’s resources to the park improvements, and especially for taking on the great lawn project. Staying with the commitment we made in 2012, Great Oak Park’s development and improvement is costing the borough of Oakland taxpayers Zero dollars!