Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Vines are Strangling our Trees & Need Help . . . A great job for politicians!

Now that the election is over and the committee people, the candidates, elected officials and volunteers have had a few days to recover, I can’t think of a better way to refocus on the community than to volunteer this Saturday, November 12, 9 AM – 12 Noon to help the Open Land Conservancy.

The Conservancy is once again holding a series of winter “Vine Days” to continue the successful campaign against invasive vegetation.  This would be a great bonding experience for the community to see our supervisors, school board members, former candidates and volunteers to all come out for this worthy cause!

An excellent opportunity for volunteers to make a visible and lasting impact on the Preserves.  Come check out the 600 trees that the Open Land Conservancy volunteers just planted! Volunteers get out in the fresh air, take a mid-morning hot chocolate break and enjoy the companionship of like-minded neighbors. All that’s needed are protective clothing, gloves and, if you have them, tools such as loppers, pruners and hand saws to supplement OLC’s supply. If you have Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts in the family bring them along — there’s plenty to do for everyone!

The volunteers continue to wage their successful campaign against the invasive vines that are harming the tree development in the Nature Preserves. This is a great opportunity to get some fresh air, work with some of your neighbors and make a lasting impact on the Nature Preserves.

This Saturday’s ‘Vine Day’ will focus on the George Lorimer Preserve, located on North Valley Road in the Great Valley part of the township. The Lorimer Preserve encompasses 88 acres of meadows, woods, ponds, stream, and extensive trail system are managed to provide a variety of habitats for wildlife in a beautiful rural setting. Honeysuckle, choking a tree.

Directions to the Lorimer Preserve from Paoli, take North Valley Road, cross Swedesford Road and keep going on North Valley Road about ½ mile to the parking lot on the right. Volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot at 9 AM.

According to the conservancy, the Lorimer Preserve receives the highest number of visitors and is the most easily accessed.  However it is also the most affected by invasives and needs your help! Any questions, contact Open Land Conservancy Board member Ray Clarke, 610-578-0358.  Ray provides the following update on the Lorimer Preserve:

We are just finishing up the planting of 600+ native trees and shrubs in an area of Lorimer that a few years ago was nothing but vines and invasive bushes. Previous Vine Days allowed us to clear the way into the mess to then take out the bushes, and now we’ve had fabulous help from many sources to plant the trees. Particularly:

  • Volunteer tree planting groups from local corporations – Siemens Medical and Vanguard.
  • Trees and deer protection provided by a grant from the TreeVitalize program, funded by proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower show run by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society
  • Coordination and expertise from Green Valleys Association
  • A major donation by a private individual
  • Lots of effort by OLC volunteers

Like the “public-private partnership” that our Board of Supervisors candidates were so keen on! (Although of course, OLC is not a municipality).

The Vine Day on Saturday will spread out from this site, free up more trees and growing space for all the eventual offspring of the oaks, maples, hackberrys, sycamores, etc. that we just planted.

If anyone can’t make this Saturday, but wants to help, there will be Vine Days in other preserves on the second Saturday of every month, through April. Locations to be posted on the web site:


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  1. Thank you so much, Pattye, for getting the word out. The forecast is for a sunny Fall day – perfect for everyone to put memories of the election behind us with a little light physical work out!

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