Last spring the Outer Comstock Neighborhood Association was awarded a $700 Greening Grant by the Syracuse Parks Conservancy for a project above a historic stone wall in the northwest corner of Comfort Tyler Park. The project consisted of digging out a large number of invasive saplings and small trees, which had overgrown the area above the sixty foot wall, and replacing them with thirteen Fragrant Sumac plants. This Sumac variety was chosen, because it is both a rigorous ground cover and native to our area. Once established the plants require very little maintenance. The grant covered the cost of plants and materials, and the labor was provided by student and neighborhood volunteers.
The work began in April, when four ESF student volunteers spent four hours, each, digging up most of the overgrowth. Over the next several weeks a volunteer from the neighborhood completed this process and worked in soil conditioner. The soil conditioner was necessary to help loosen the compacted soil. The plants arrived in May and Gloria Sage, Brenda Silverman, Mark Watkins and Ron Hoffman planted them and spread mulch over the area. A volunteer returned to the park in June to do additional weeding. Over sixty volunteer hours were given to complete the project.
All of the plants, but one, are healthy, and their leaves are beginning to turn from green to their golden fall hues. One plant will need to be replaced, mos likely in the spring. The above average rainfall in June and July helped the plants adjust to their new home. Over the years the plants will fill out and spread, which should help to crowd out invasive plants, most notably buckthorn. In the meanwhile, periodic weeding will be necessary, including removing any new invasive plants.
OCNA Foundation, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity for the Outer Comstock Neighborhood Association (OCNA).