At little over a year ago, MSPC signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Salem to help maintain the northwest corner of Bush’s Pasture Park (among other things). We’ve been busy since then. Here’s a short guide to what we’ve been up to:
Landscape Bed Rehabilitation Project. The park’s northwest corner contains more than 50 distinct planting beds from large to small, plus dozens of additional “cutouts’ for single trees or shrubs. Many of these beds haven’t been edged, weeded or mulched for years, and some even contained dead or dying plants. Since spring 2018, MSPC’s Tuesday Gardeners have been working alongside City staff to improve these beds by edging, weeding, mulching, and pruning them. MSPC has also been purchasing and installing trees, shrubs and perennials for the beds as well. This project is ongoing.
Mapping and Cataloguing the Park’s Trees and Beds. MSPC is identifying the park’s trees and shrubs and mapping them into a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. We’re also inventorying all of the plants in the park’s landscape beds. The information is available online as it is collected.Increasingly, an online catalogue of plant material, plant labels, and interactive maps are becoming a standard management and interpretive tool for public gardens. To date, we’ve accessioned (catalogued) over 500 trees and shrubs. This project is ongoing.
Bush Pasture Park Cultural Landscape Report. A cultural landscape report (CLR) is “the primary report that documents the history, significance and treatment of a cultural landscape. A CLR evaluates the history and integrity of the landscape including any changes to its geographical context, features, materials, and use.” MSPC is in the early stages of writing a cultural landscape report for the park. This project is ongoing.
Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Rose Collection Rehabilitation. Following the appearance of ducks swimming in several of the rose beds in the winter of 2016, the City held a meeting to decide how to address the poor drainage in the main rose garden. The result was a decision to raise many of the beds by 11” with a combination of clay loam soil and garden compost. The hybrid tea and floribunda rose collection was also rejuvenated by digging, dividing, and replanting 23 beds worth of roses and the purchase of over 600 new roses. City horticulturist Tom Beatty, rosarian Bill Meltzer, and MSPC’s Gretchen Carnaby managed the project with considerable help from MSPC’s Tuesday Gardeners and the Marion County correction crew. MSPC and the City shared the cost of new roses. This project has been completed.
The Ravine Landscape Project. The Ravine is a narrow seasonal stream that lies just south of the Bush Barn Art Center. Between fall 2017 and spring 2019, MSPC and landscape designer Ron Miner installed native basalt boulders, a bioswale, a small flagstone terrace and a large number of native and ornamental plants. City parks staff and corrections crews provided considerable assistance throughout the project. This project has been completed.
Oregon White Oak Health Assessment. To address ongoing community concerns about the health of the park’s Oregon white oaks, MSPC engaged arborists Brian French and Will Koomjian, and ecologist Matt Stone, to assess the trees’ environment, particularly the soils, and make recommendations for improvements if needed. They reported back in May 2019. This project is completed.
Old Rose Focal Point Rehabilitation. This projectcalls for the removal of the existing bricks that support the sundial in the Mae Tarter Old Rose Collection, installation of a concrete base, and then reinstallation of the bricks in the exact pattern in which they were originally installed. We will also move an existing bench to better align it with the garden’s east-west axis and install a new base for the bench. This project has been postponed on account of current construction costs.
Children’s Rock Scramble. MSPC had proposed to set a 20′ by 30′ grouping of local boulders into the north hillside of the Ravine, just down from the Crooked House playground. The scramble would have been sited next to the climbing tree and within view of the nearby Ravine terrace. This project has been withdrawn in light of the absence of a nature play policy for city parks.
Your membership dollars, financial gifts, and the work of our Tuesday Gardeners have made this possible. Thank you.