by Marlene Berlin
Ten days ago, about 100 people gathered to to celebrate the new and improved Broad Branch and and Linnean streams. Exactly one week later, some of us returned to add more plants and trees.
I showed up at the Broad Branch Saturday with my shovel and gloves, ready to do some planting. There, I found Steve Saari, who headed the Broad Branch reconstruction project for DDOE. Keith Underwood, the owner of Underwood Associates and the contractor who did the reconstruction work, was there with three men from his crew. So was Bill Yeoman from the National Park Service, who has closely followed this project and the emerging wildlife. Katie from Glover Park had seen an announcement on the Rock Creek Conservancy website and had beaten me there. My friends, Willia and John Hennigan, joined us later.
Many of the plants came from Keith’s latest project, where he is excavating, so it was a perfect opportunity to recycle the unearthed plants.
The best part of the planting was the borer. Paco Aguilar and Duke Gutierrez of Underwood Associates did the honors, with their fellow crew member Julio Morales assisting in distributing bags of top soil and fertilizer. Compared to my attempt to dig into rocks and clay in my own yard the previous weekend, the borers seemed almost magical – they produced holes within seconds. Keith Underwood quickly organized us, and before long, we were filling holes with top soil, peat moss and fertilizer, plopping in the plants, covering them with more of the mixture and tapping it around the plants with our feet.
We also planted water lilies and ferns. Willia and John Hennigan had to break out their shovels for some of the ferns planted near the bank, as it was too rocky for the borer. Katie took over planting the lilies, which meant playing in the mud by the water. And when they weren’t carting the sacks of peat moss, top soil and fertilizer around, Steve and Bill got a chance to do some planting. We pretty much got everything done by noon.
With a great team and a glorious morning, what could be better than digging in the dirt?