Rachel Gulbraa

Rachel Gulbraa's picture

URI Internship Year:

2017

F&ES Degree:

MEM

Rachel is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Group

East Edge Gardeners

Rainbow Park

Wintergreen Brook at Common Ground

Quinnipiac River Park

Little Nash

Wolcott And Lloyd

Believe In Me

Fillmore Street

Greenspace Log

Date Category Photos Group Summary

07/27/2017

Planting
Planting

Quinnipiac River Park

On our last meeting of the season, we were able to plant the memorial tree that we had been building up to. It was a little over-cast so many of our typical group was not present, but Rita brought a contingent of friends and family to come and help plant the tree and perennials. It came out quite beautifully.

07/20/2017

Maintenance
Maintenance

Quinnipiac River Park

This week we had a jam-packed schedule spreading the stone dust I dropped off last week, planting 2 St John’s wart, 2 yellow yarrow, and 3 lamb’s ear, as well as removing the pear stump/stems/bush from near the butterfly garden. The group seems like it is becoming much more chatty, especially around the donuts that Rita has been bringing, but everyone is still really great about picking a task and seeing it through.

07/13/2017

Maintenance
Maintenance

Quinnipiac River Park

Today another intern, Rob, and I went to the park a little early to drop off a truckload of stone dust. It’s lucky we did so, because just at our normal meeting time, the sky opened up with thunder, lightning, and rain. Although Tom met us with his son and nephew, we decided to cancel this week due to the weather.

06/26/2017

Maintenance
Maintenance

Quinnipiac River Park

Early in the week I spoke to a new group member on the phone about the memorial tree, and invited her to our weekly meeting. We were all really pleased that she came out, along with her children, and we had one of our best working sessions yet. We laid 1 yard of stone dust on the trail, and got to know each other with an ice breaker and introductions, and then got back to laying stone dust and planting low bush blueberries. After an hour or so, Tom’s mother kept an eye on the tools while the rest of us took a walk along the park to look at another memorial tree, and then pick out two potential sites. We put stakes at those sites, and the kids tied on flagging tape. It was great to see our little community rally around this new cause.

06/22/2017

Planting
Planting

Quinnipiac River Park

We had a very successful workday with a good size group: Like last week everyone got started on their own tasks right away. When we were at a good stopping point, everyone gathered together to do some ice-breakers, introductions, and to discuss a proposal from a neighbor about a memorial tree. We talked about goals, visions, and difficulties at the park. Most people mentioned an interest in more trees, and everyone was extremely receptive about the memorial tree project and we are all looking forward to going forward together. Having refreshments seems to bring good spirits, so Tom included an invitation for people to bring food on his weekly email.

06/15/2017

Planting
Planting

Quinnipiac River Park

We had our first community meeting which was very successful in that we had a good turn out and everyone had enough to do. People tended to gravitate to the tasks they were interested in, and everyone felt useful. Most of the participants have been coming to help with the park for years, although often for just a couple days at a time. We did see the local alderman stop by, who was very encouraging. There were also two young kids who were great workers and very engaged and eager to help. Overall it was a good session, we got a lot done, engaged several passersby who seemed interested and joined our mailing list. We did a lot of weeding, mulch spreading (about 1/2 yard), and planted 3 St. John’s Wort.

06/08/2017

Planning
Planning

Quinnipiac River Park

While their intern was away for a conference, Tom and Noy hit the pavement to hang up some flyers and talk to more potential volunteers to build the capacity of the group. We hope their hard work will pay off at the kick-off celebration next week!

06/06/2017

Maintenance
Maintenance

Wolcott And Lloyd

At our initial planning meeting, Gwen and I took our pruners to the wisteria vine that has overgrown its trellis and was beginning to strangle a neighboring tree. She filled me in on the work over the last few years, and we discussed how to make the park at Wolcott and Lloyd sustainable into the future.

06/05/2017

Planning
Planning

Wintergreen Brook at Common Ground

Students from the Spring term of West River Stewards had a meeting to pass the baton to students who will be working at the site during the summer, beginning the week of July 5th. Sharon, the environmental science teacher at the school, shared her ideas and how the site has been incorporated into lesson plans in the past, while soliciting ideas from the team. Current students shared the progress that has been made over the years, and I spoke about the potential for planting at the oasis.

06/03/2017

Maintenance
Maintenance

East Edge Gardeners

I dropped off 1/2 yard of pine mulch at the Hobart bed at 9am today, which we offloaded before planting 3 purple salvias, a black-eyed susan, and a wintercreeper behind the bench. I had to leave for another group at 10am, but Cathy and Sandy were still hard at work!

06/03/2017

Planning
Planning

Rainbow Park

At our second meeting, Chris came by the site to look at the potential placement of a rainbarrel, which turned out not to be a good fit for the area. However, we did find a water line by the entrance to the park, and hope that we can get the parks department on board with using it to get a source of water into the park, which will help with maintenance, which is done exclusively by volunteers.

06/01/2017

Planning
Planning

Quinnipiac River Park

06/01/2017

Planning
Planning

Quinnipiac River Park

Today Tom and I were joined by Noy, another community member who has been involved at Quinnipiac River Park for many years, as we canvassed the area in order to reach new neighbors. We went down Front and Grand streets, and had some great conversations with folks at the New Haven Landtrust Greenhouse, along with several neighbors.

05/27/2017

Planning
Planning

East Edge Gardeners

Today, Cathy, Marion, Sandy, and I toured the beds along Edgewood. Most of them are doing pretty well, although we noticed that someone had deliberately dug up some shrubs and purple salvia, and that some of the PJMs had been damaged by a lawn mower. We discussed the work to be done this year, and imagine continued maintenance with the possibility of replacing a small tree in one of the beds.

05/26/2017

Planning
Planning

Rainbow Park

At our initial meeting, Pat and I toured the park, picked up trash and pulled some weeds, and discussed the park's long term sustainability. One of the biggest obstacles facing the park is that it is in an area with many people who rent for a short period of time and so do not always have the time to become committed to a local park. One of our main focuses moving forward will be to figure out how to get more volunteers, particularly those that are interested in becoming involved in the long term.

05/26/2017

Planning
Planning

Wintergreen Brook at Common Ground

During our initial meeting, I met with Joel and Sharon to look over the site, check on how last year's plantings fared, and discuss this year's plans. We found that the plantings up by the edge of the main road were not doing very well-- many had been crushed by piles of ice from snow plow during the winter. Within the Oasis site itself, we found that deer had chewed heavily on the Witch Hazel that was planted, so we will need to come up with a solution (most likely deer netting). Potential plans for this summer include extending the trail to a community garden to the east, putting down more woodchips, and planting native species, but we are excited to incorporate the ideas of the high school students moving forward.

05/25/2017

Planning
Planning

Quinnipiac River Park

Today, Tom and I met for the first time to talk about the vision for the coming summer, and to discuss how to approach recruiting new volunteers to make sure the project is sustainable. Tree planting at Quinnipiac River Park has been intensive for the last several years, so this year the focus will likely be more heavily concentrated on maintenance and community building.