On Friday, I spent a day of work at Co-op City, assisting in the direction of planting 201 trees. It was a great experience to work with the grounds crew and see the planting. Also impressive was spending some time on this greenway, which was a parking lot only 1.5 years ago. The progress of the space's transformation and growth of the plants we had specified was impressive and brought a much greater respect for the work I have been doing in landscape architecture. For once I could see that the things that I have been familiar with staring at on paper and computer screens have taken shape forming and beautifying a space.
The experience was brought to a deeper level when I returned from my lunch break before the grounds crew had resumed their work and started their machines. I went to sit on a bench in the sun and heard a bird singing loud and happy from the clump of bagged trees dropped off by the truck earlier, waiting to be planted. Walking quietly over to inspect, I found the bird, happily nested among branches of young Hawthorn trees. The day was no longer about counting trees and measuring space, and checking planting specifications at that point, instead it was providing 201 new spots for birds (and insects and hundreds of other species) to call home in the Bronx.
The foliage of the Hornbeams planted a year ago was pretty stunning in the morning light. It will be great to when the trees are a little bigger.
For better or for worse, I kept finding interesting (and often beautiful) small weeds among the newly hydroseeded landscape. Hopefully the grass will eventually establish itself this well.