Landscape Committee News

May 2020


The conservation bed beside the single tennis court is underway.  This is a relatively low-cost method of solving erosion problems. The idea is to amend the soil so more water is absorbed.  This is done by adding sand and leaf mulch to create a “dirt sponge”.  Additionally, native plants are used to sop up more of the water.  Why are we using native plants?  They have longer roots, will hold the soil in place, and will attract insects. Insects?  Shouldn’t we be getting rid of them? 

(B)iologist E.O. Wilson laid out a worst-case scenario. If insects were to vanish, he explained, so would nearly all flowering plants and the food webs they support. This loss, in turn, would cause the extinction of reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals: in effect, nearly all terrestrial animal life. You can learn more in the link to the news story that follows this article.

This is only one avenue the Landscape Committee is pursuing to save Mews residents money.  This month is when Arlingtonians can begin applying for free trees from EcoAction Arlington. That is right, TREES.  Last year we received a large Swamp Oak for Court 6.  And yes, it is a native species.  Arlington County has been promoting a return to planting native trees.  They are better suited to our environment and hold up well in drought conditions. The committee has identified several areas where new trees are needed. 

            1.  Court 1, 2, 3 – two to three Willow Oak, Scarlett Oak or a combination of both

            2.  Court 11 – Scarlett Oak to replace dead cherry

            3.  Court 12 – American Beech

The Landscape Committee did a walkabout with Environmental Enhancements representative David Arze to identify additional problem areas.  Ivy removal always tops the list but removal is expensive.  Tackling this as a Mews community project would enhance our neighborhood, get rid of an invasive species, and save us all money in the long run.  We will send an email announcement later to see who’s up for the challenge.

Insect article:

Your Landscape Committee, Fern Birtwistle, Jamie Boone, Sue Davis, Penny Glass