To the Editor: Thanks for Pitching In

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Thanks for Pitching In

Under overcast skies delivering sleet and then rain much of the day, more than 50 volunteers participated in Crozet Park’s second annual Pitch-in at the Park on Saturday, April 25th. This all-day volunteer event reflects the true meaning of what is so wonderful about Crozet—neighbors and businesses working together side-by-side to help maintain our community-owned park.

This day has become especially important to the park since it enables many of the park’s maintenance activities to be started and completed in a single day. On the list this year were extensive renovation of one of the pool’s main sheds, installation of an informational kiosk, numerous landscaping activities, extensive tree work throughout the park, painting, and completion of the fence line along the park’s main entry. Some of you may know we are required, due to ABC laws, to block off the park’s festival grounds for any of the large events where alcohol is served. Completing this fence line means we can avoid the extra effort of hanging and removing countless panels of lattice before and after these events. I’m happy to report that this cumbersome task it now a part of the park’s history.

This year, we are especially grateful to Arboristry Associates and Waynesboro Nurseries, who chose to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Week at the park by donating an entire day of service as part of our Pitch-in event. At dawn a large fleet of bright blue Arboristry trucks and employees showed up, set up, and suited-up, ready to tackle a huge overdue list of tree work. Likely the most spectacular feat of the day was watching Arboristry staff climb several stories high into the old oak tree sitting behind the backstop of the upper ballfield. Their task was to trim the dead wood to keep the tree healthy and to prevent continued limb drop onto homeplate.

Arboristry’s work came to a peak when Waynesboro Nurseries arrived a few hours later with a trailer hauling several dozen beautiful new shrubs and a large Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) tree. And, the manpower to plant everything!  Arboristry’s tree work and Waynesboro Nurseries donation of plants is one of the largest in-kind service donations the park has ever received. Thank you to Eric Fowler with Arboristry Associates and Reid Nasholds with Waynesboro Nurseries for generously donating their time, expertise and coordination of their respective teams.

Thanks to Jim Packer who came down from Northern Virginia to build a beautiful new kiosk in the front of the main entrance. Jim not only built this new structure, he donated all the materials. This kiosk will be used to display information about the Park’s many projects.

The preparation to make an event of this size successful takes weeks. A huge thank you goes to Karl Pomeroy who helped organize the projects, materials, and supplies for the Pitch-in.  Thank you to Drew Holzwarth and his team and, to Albemarle County Parks and Recreation (ACP&R) for their continued work on our beautiful ball fields and helping stage much of the mulch and top soil throughout the Park. ACP&R also lent us their Gator and their tools trailer, two must-haves for this event. Thank you ACP&R’s Jim Barbour and Dan Mahon for all their support.

Thank you to Yancey Mills Lumber for donating a mountain of mulch and to our devoted and hard working Crozet Trails Crew (CTC) for distributing this mulch wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow until this mountain was little more than a memory by day’s end. The CTC spearheaded much of the landscaping activities throughout the day.

Thank you to Blue Ridge Builders Supply for discounting all of the supplies and materials used for the Pitch-in and to Dominos Pizza for helping provide lunch to a very hungry group of volunteers.

Thank you to the Lions Club for their work on cleaning out both the Park’s large ice chest and the hotdog shack that had been vandalized a few months prior.

Thank you to all the park board members and the YMCA staff who were able to help. I am especially inspired by so many of the volunteers who made the Pitch-in event a family affair. This included adult children who invited their own parents and parents bringing their kids. I can’t think of a more meaningful gift to give your kids than to teach them the fun and importance of volunteering. When I see this I know our community will be in good hands long after we’re gone.

And finally, thank you to those in the Crozet community who were willing to give their time at the Pitch-in even in less than optimal conditions. The day was cold and most of you were wet throughout the day, yet you hunkered down and completed the job at hand. Thank you!

Kim Guenther, President
Claudius Crozet Park

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