Earth Day may have been a wash out on Saturday, but a few dedicated individuals attended a tree planting at Fort CF Smith. Park Rangers Sarah Teague and Rob Hunter led the group of about 10 in planting a black gum tree and five witch hazel shrubs.
The florae were selected for their abilities to attract birds. "This is a big birding area," says Teague. People often come out with binoculars to view the various species of birds that call Fort CF Smith home.
Many of the tree planters were volunteers from Raytheon Crystal City, including Nick Anstine, a senior manager in Missile Defense. The company's employees often volunteer for community service projects. "We love to do this kind of stuff," says Anstine.
Despite the rain, Fort CF Smith was looking particularly lovely on April 22. Laura Lemley of the Arlington Artists Alliance was teaching a morning art class in one of the small houses on the premises. "I think the real story," she says, "is that no one knows about this place." Lemley teaches art classes on Saturdays and she and other members of the Alliance lead summer art camps at Fort CF Smith.
Arlington residents' taxes have contributed to the renovations of the park over the last decade. Improvements include granite curbs, walkways paved with stones, refurbishment of the older buildings and maintenance of the grounds. Saturday's tree planting was a new event for the park, however. "This is the first time we've done this," says Teague.
Fort CF Smith is tucked away in a residential neighborhood off of Lorcom Lane. To find out more, visit www.fortcfsmith.com.