Even though the weather's colder, you should take a stroll through Gladstone Nature Park this month. If your memory of this park is of a messy clump of shrubs that was difficult to walk through, you're in for a real treat.
Sections of the park have been cleared of the chaos, revealing native plants and trees you couldn't see before. There are places where licorice fern is spreading its wings of green, once hidden by blackberry. It's a deciduous fern so you'll only see it now during the winter.
Perhaps you've noticed the large boulders that have emerged from the hillside as you pass by on Webster Road. Trails are groomed; trash and graffiti are gone.
All this is because of the Friends Of Gladstone Nature Park (FOGNAP), a small group of volunteers dedicated to make the park more natural, maintained and pleasant for all. With donations and hard work FOGNAP has added trees, trash cans, picnic tables, a pet waste station, and removed sections of non-native Himalayan blackberry and scotch broom.
FOGNAP has had community events and partnered with the schools on projects for students. While cleaning the park, volunteers found various forms of metal which a local artist used to make sculptures. The art has been donated to FOGNAP and will be available for purchase at their annual Arbor Day event at the park.
Carey Salisbury is a Gladstone resident.
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