Birmingham’s Coolest Earth Day Festival

So, you saw an ad in Black & White with a somewhat similar look to the image on the left of your screen and you want more details.  Well here are some details.

Earthbound will being playing their annual FREE concert.

Friends of George Ward Park will have volunteers helping run the event and for a donation of $5 give you a beautiful wristband that entitles you to a 16 ounces cup of Sweet Water beer for only $2 a cup until it runs out and Sweet Water Brewery was very generous.  Really there is no fear of lack of alcohol because Gable Square Saloon & Games will also be open to quench your thirst.

Guiseppe’s will be serving pizza by the slice and whole, the Mexican Market will have some delicious handmade authentic tamales, and Shendigs Lunch wagon will be on site for some more food options.

If you are an artist are crafter, please come set up your table and enlighten us with your work.  Want a space reserved, contact me

This year, Grace will be doing hula hoop demonstrations and Seth from Ed’s Pet World will have some creatures I am sure you will want to love.  We have some frisbees leftover from last year and a bounce house.  The dunking booth is back again and we have John Archibald set to be dunked.

So bring a chair or blanket and come enjoy the afternoon in beautiful Bessie Estell Park, located next door to Epic School and UAB.  803 9th Court S, Birmingham, 35205.  2-6 pm. Rain or Shine.  Earth Day April 22.

Board Elects Officers at Annual Meeting

The Friends of George Ward Park met on July 28, 2011 to elect officers.

President – Carol Williams
Vice President – Jean White
Treasurer – Lee Clayton
Secretary – to be filled (let us know if you’d like the job!)

Board Members - Punky Burwinkle, Michael Gray, Lee Howard, Henry Hughes, Sue Moody, Patrick Nelson

Great Work Day at the Park

Glen Iris Neighborhood Association hosted a clean up day for the stream that runs to the side of the Dog Park March 12, 2011 at George Ward Park.  Several Friends of George Ward Park members volunteered along with Red Mountain Garden Club and the City of Birmingham.  We uncovered more WPA era stone work and saw lots of places where it needs restored soon to preserve the work for the future.  Here is a power point presentation, so all can see what we accomplished.  It might take a few minutes to download.



We are now a 501(c)3

There is excitement in the air, we have been approved to operated as a 501(c)3.  This will take the organization to a new level.  We will be able to apply for grants and all donations are now tax-deductible.  The future looks bright for George Ward Park.

Santa at the Square: Update

Friends of George Ward Park would like to thank everyone who helped make our 2010 Santa at the Square Holiday Neighborhood Party a success!. Special thanks go to all who came out on a very cold, snowy day to enjoy Guisseppe’s pizza, Gable Square Saloon’s refreshments, Rojo’s Chips & Salsa, and our wonderful hot cocoa drinks and baked goodies! Super-Duper thanks go to our friends at B’ham Fire & Rescue Service’s Engine Company 7 for providing Santa with a cool ride around the neighborhood before his grand arrival! Fun was had by children of all ages with the Paint Santa’s Pick-up Truck activity. In spite of the harsh weather, it appears that gross receipts were only about $50.00 off from last year’s event! Again, Thank You, Everyone!!!



Reforestation Planting Day Success!

  FoGWP wishes to thank the dozens of volunteers who showed up on Saturday, Oct. 30 to help with the second large-scale fall tree planting.  Over 100 small one-year seedlings were planted into the primary reforestation area to reinforce last years plantings. In addition, a number of invasive species plants and trees such as privet and mimosa were tagged for removal to allow room for the new trees to grow. Pictured above are happy workers (R to L) Hope Cooper, Punky Burwinkle and a helper. Thanks Again, Everyone!!

Reforestation Project Gains Momentum

The following is an excerpt from a letter FoGWP recently received from Henry Hughes, Director of Education at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens:

I saw the seedlings in George Ward Park Monday. They look great! I would guess that we have close to 100% survival and they  largely were THRIVING. This shows the good sense of fall planting and mulching. Your signs have done the job of keeping the mowing equipment out. The City seems to have kept its promise. More leaves in those areas this fall will help to define the areas better. Thank you for putting all of the organizations on the signs, including the Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Thank you also for taking so much time to stake each seedling carefully and for including the accurate ID of each one on the stakes.

You all also have done a great job bringing in branches that will help to hold this fall’s leaves in place and that will begin to restore the topsoil. Acorns then will have a chance of germinating on their own without our having to collect seed and plant seedlings. At some point we will have a rich man’s problem of too many seedlings, I guarantee.
Keep those branches coming and let’s make a big push this fall to get the City to bring in more leaves – lots of them. The area doesn’t need a fence at all, something that we eventually came to the realization of. So a bunch of money saved there.

We also should plan to remove the exotics: mimosa, privet, etc., as you say. I can flag those at some point. They can become part of the mulching effort. The planting focus this fall should be to reinforce the areas that have been planted already, especially UNDER the big trees and mulch, mulch, mulch everywhere beneath them – and thick. Also we can begin to think about interpretive signage to help to educate the public about the importance of this pilot project that can be used everywhere in the city, indeed in the country.

The 150 seedlings here at the gardens, grown from seed collected both in 2008 and 2009, look great. Katie King, our Rotary Club of Shades Valley Summer Intern has just finished sizing them up to 1-gallon containers. They should be perfect for planting by October. It looks like a great seed production year too, so I will plan a major seed collection about the time that we plant, perhaps even including the day of. It typically takes me 4 to 6 trips to the park over the course of a month to six weeks to get what we need because different species and individual trees drop seed at different time. But the seed volume at least on post and blackjack oaks, the two principal species prevalent in the park and impossible to buy, is high. This will ensure a solid planting effort in 2011 and 2012.

Please let me know when a good time will be for the Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs and the Friends of George Ward Park and the Glen Iris Neighborhood Association to meet to plan out the fall planting activities. The Garden Club of America will be holding a regional meeting at the Gardens this fall and I will be speaking about the project. It is great that we have a successful project to show. By the way, the two clubs entered a number of the seedlings in a friendly competition in Atlanta at the GCA Zone VIII meeting and came back with a number of blue ribbons, including the coveted Clarissa Willemsen Horticultural Propagation Award “for a horticultural entry distinguished by its prime condition, flawless grooming and difficulty of propagation.” I think that the project is getting some positive attention around the South.”

George Ward Park Re-Dedicated as Permanent Park

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, The Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance to help ensure GWP remains a public park forever. While records indicate the park was originally dedicated back in 1952, questions were raised about the legality of the original dedication in regards to whether proper notice was published. At the urging of Councilor Valerie Abbott, the park was re-surveyed, consolidating a number of parcels of land together, and the whole park was again dedicated with a new city ordinance. Dedication as a public park prevents the city or Mayor from selling or utilizing the park for anything other than a public park without gaining approval from a city-wide referendum. FoGWP would like to give an big THANK YOU to Councilor Abbott !