Binney Park Volunteer Day Planned for Saturday, June 1

Help improve Binney Park! The Binney Park Advisory Committee is organizing a volunteer day on Saturday, June 1.

Meet on Arch Street by the Island at 9:30am. The event lasts until 12:00 noon.

(Rain date is Sunday, June 2 from 11am-2pm)

Volunteers are needed to help weed and mulch flowerbeds around north end of Binney Pond. Some tools available. Mulch will be available and Park Staff will be on hand to help. (No young children please.)

Wear old clothes, sun hat and gloves. Bring clippers, a water bottle, rake, trowel and shovel. If you have a favorite tool for weeding, please bring that along.

The primary goal for this first Volunteer Day will be
weeding and mulching the flowerbeds in the north end of the park.

Staff from the Parks Department will provide dumpsters, help to identify weeds from flowers and provide mulch to dress up the newly cleaned areas.

This project is more for adults but supervised teenagers are welcome to attend.

Come for an hour…. or the whole morning. Many hands make light work and Binney will look so much better for the effort.

Pre-registration requested at [email protected]

The volunteer day is sponsored by the Binney Park Advisory Committee (BPAC) whose aims are to implement the Binney Park Master Plan.

Last winter, a group of Greenwich residents were asked by the Department of Parks & Recreation to form the BPAC, to guide the implementation of the Master Plan for Binney Park.

The plan was prepared in 2015 for the Town by Martha Lyon, a landscape architect from Northampton, MA.

For a variety of reasons, including the anticipated Binney Pond dredging, the plan was not immediately implemented.

Now, plans are underway to execute what projects seem practical and appropriate both in the north end and south end of the park. This letter is written to help keep citizens informed as to what the committee is trying to accomplish.

Ms. Lyon stated in her Summary of the Plan:

“As with all historic landscapes, upkeep of the park’s features has required intensive care on the part of town staff. Dwindling resources, combined with the increased use of the park and the effects of recent storms, have complicated the town’s ability to provide adequate maintenance. As a result, crews regularly mow lawns but the remaining historic landscape features—the historic trees, pavilions, and other details—have deteriorated. To address this condition the Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation commissioned the foregoing master plan.” 

Lyons also said the goal of the Master Plan is to manage the landscape and restoring its historic features while anticipating future impacts of climate change.

This year BPAC sought the removal of problem trees such as the crab apples in the south end of the park and replacing them with more water tolerant trees since there are flooding problems in this area.

After a well attended public hearing the tree warden  made the decision to gradually phase in the removal of the 20 trees posted for removal.

BPAC is working on improvements to the “warming shelter” on the island in Binney Pond, improvements and landscaping for the Clubhouse, the small building near the baseball diamonds.

Loop Trail
BPAC is are planning the construction of a loop trail for walking around the south end of the park.

According to Peter Uhry, BPAC co-chair, the trail would start at Wesskum Wood Road, meander down to the eastern edge of Binney, and come back up to the tennis courts along the side of Arch Street.

BPAC said that aside from adding a pleasant pedestrian strolling path, the loop trail will measurably improve the safety of people who will now have a footpath to use rather than Arch Street.

Our June 1 Volunteer Day is one way we BPAC is demonstrating their desire to highlight the good things in Binney.

“We plan to have citizens, willing to give up a couple of hours on a Saturday morning, weed and mulch flower beds previously planted after the dredging was
completed last summer,” BPAC said in an open letter. “The hope is the nicer looking flower beds will encourages more foot traffic in the park.”