Carmaggeddon – schmarmageddon. The real action was found on Saturday at Deukmejian’s Weedageddon.
By Brandon HENSLEY
While people across the Southland were stressing about “Carmageddon” last weekend, officials at Deukmejian Wilderness Park held an open invitation for anyone to join in on “Weedageddon” on Saturday morning.
The phrase might conjure up boring images of pulling weeds at a park, but it was just part of another weekend at Deukmejian, where community members come up and help out with the park’s beautification process.
It’s called the Third Saturday Wilderness Workday, when once a month CV residents come to the park to do whatever assignment they’re given.
“[They do] watering, sometimes tree planting, weeding out invasive species and we’ve even added a gardening component we’re trying to get off the ground,” said Marc Stirdivant, a senior administration analyst for Glendale’s Parks and Recreation.
In the case of invasive species, Stirdivant said invasive plants have begun to spring up since the Station Fire, and they have been crowding the native plants that grow, so the volunteer group tries to take care of that.
There were around 15 people on Saturday to help out. Stirdivant said between 15 and 30 volunteers is usually the average.
“We’ve had as many as 60 people out on a single day, although that’s unusual,” he said.
Work is always done before it gets too hot: the hours are usually 8 a.m. to noon. The work days every third Saturday started last summer when the park reopened after the Station Fire, although “Weedageddon” was held on Deukmejian’s lower levels.
“Sometimes when there’s a need we go farther up the Dunsmore Creek trail and do work up the canyon,” Stirdivant said.
The city of Glendale recently cut the Park Naturalist program due to its economic problems. Stirdivant became an overseer of the Trails and Open Space program on July 1, and said while the cutting of programs has been disappointing, he’s trying to help usher in new ways of doing things that will still benefit the park.
One of those things in mind is a monthly-based interpretive program, starting in August. Potentially, faculty from Glendale Community College, CV High School and Clark Magnet High School can come to the park and teach about botany or zoology. There may also be a geology hike, and a program on Native Americans.
So, despite the economic setbacks and the continued limited space at the park, Deukmejian is still home to some important things going on, of which everyone is invited to take part.