Planting Blitz Held at IX Property - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Planting Blitz Held at IX Property

Posted: Updated: May 25, 2014 07:37 PM

Volunteers came out Sunday to help build the foundation of what will soon be a community park at the IX property in Charlottesville.

They dug out the pathway for a new boardwalk and put in around 400 plants. The path runs along the course of an underground river that still flows 8 feet below ground.

"The stream is called Polluk's Branch, it's buried in the ground here. It was sort of the heart of an ecosystem, say 200 or 300 years ago. It was in the landscape only 75 years ago." said meadow designer Devin Floyd.

IX property staff say actually digging the river up would be tremendously expensive, so they hope to recreate the experience for the community as much as possible.

Susan Krischel, the IX property chief of staff said, “We thought if we had an art sculpture that incorporated murals that remind you of a river, plantings that would grow along the side of a river, and listening stations where you can actually hear the river, it will really get people's imaginations going and maybe one day we will see the creek daylighted."

Both Tandem Friends and the Renaissance School have partnered with volunteers to help on the project.

The Center for Urban Habitats Education Director Eric Anderson says it's an enriching and unique experience for the kids.

“It's not only teaching them the biology, ecology, the earth science, but it's also teaching them the skills that you need. It's not just paper and pencil and taking notes and taking tests or writing essays." said Anderson.

Floyd says he thinks the results will surprise the community.

"The hope is to inspire people to look closer, come in and see what's possible in an urban area." said Floyd. He hopes to put in around 5,000 plants in total. That includes around 100 trees and shrubs.

The boardwalk will be accompanied by a river design on the pavement, extending out from either end.

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