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The view from Chimborazo Park is stellar this time of year

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70 comments

Spacecat 05/13/2017 at 11:58 AM

Is there a Chimborazo Park citizen group, like the Jefferson Park group?

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Chris Lumpkin 05/13/2017 at 11:59 AM

***queue up discussion of using Agent Orange to kill weeds in a space where the city will never mow, and weeds will grow again.

Let’s plant a food forest in Chimbo!

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L 05/13/2017 at 12:15 PM

At least it’s leafy and green….

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Chloe 05/13/2017 at 12:28 PM

Last summer there was talk of Friends of the park plus others from the neighborhood having a work day here; is that materializing?

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John M 05/13/2017 at 12:40 PM

@Chris – I’m all for anything that is intentional and sustainable and give back at least some of the view

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Cadeho 05/13/2017 at 2:16 PM

I hate tree of heaven groves… that view should always be clear! When you look at old pictures in the city, nothing was overgrown. How did they do it and we fail?

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Abaigh Ritz 05/13/2017 at 2:53 PM

This was taken April 2013. The current state is terrible!

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Chris Lumpkin 05/13/2017 at 3:25 PM

Yep, and the reality is that *something* will grow there. The ailanthus needs to be removed the hard way with chainsaws, then the area needs to be sheet mulched and planted with shrubs or dwarf trees that will preserve the viewshed.

I see there’s a Facebook page for the FOTP:
https://www.facebook.com/FOCP.RVA/

I’ll bet the tree stewards would come up with the trees (“a shrubbery!!!”). I would be down for a Chimbo work party with my chainsaw.

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Kathi Sanders 05/13/2017 at 5:48 PM

Beautiful picture Abaigh!! The picture I’m attaching was taken a very long time ago. No matter if it was 2013 or circa 1913, we always seemed to be able to take care of our parks until recently. It’s very sad and frustrating. There is a Friends of Chimborazo Park group, of which I am supposed to be Vice President, but it’s totally ineffective. Supposed big shots who are going to handle things, so stand back you nobodies, but nothing ever gets done. I HATE those damn ghetto trees but admit the removal process is slightly complicated and it would make the situation worse if the proper protocol is not followed.

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WarGibFA 05/13/2017 at 7:35 PM

I seriously hope that no chemicals are used to remove those- lower Chimbo has some pretty awesome wetland spots with a good half-dozen frog species. Would have to see those wiped out as a result of indiscriminate spraying.

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Debra Miller 05/13/2017 at 6:49 PM

Wow, I didn’t know it was this bad.

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Brian 05/14/2017 at 9:12 AM

I’m still up for removal at any point. It’s a lot of trees, but with a good group of people, it’s doable.

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Brian 05/14/2017 at 9:14 AM

@9 I wonder if it’s not as complicated as people think. Last year there was a guy who went out and cut down a few and people said that they would grow back if he didn’t instantly do this that or the other. He didn’t do any of that, yet the trees are still gone from that spot.

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Trish Bernal 05/14/2017 at 12:35 PM

To Brian and all, as Richmond Tree Steward who has been working to remove this and other invasives from Belle Isle for the past two years, it actually is more complicated than you think. Over the years, well meaning volunteer groups have cut down the ailanthus trees in Chimborazo Park only to have them come back with a vengeance, leading to the current situation. Chimborazo Park deserves to be maintained better than it has been. Please share your concerns with Mayor Stoney, Cynthia Newbille, City Parks, and the Dept of Urban Forestry. If enough of us complain perhaps we will be heard.

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tony 05/14/2017 at 1:20 PM

BACK IN THE 70’S THE CHIMBO HILL WAS SMOOTH ENOUGH THAT WE USE TO SLIDE DOWN THE HILL ON CARDBOARD BOXES.COURSE WE USE TO DRINK FREELY FROM THE ARTESIAN WATER SPRING NEAR THE DOG PARK AS WELL. I UNDERSTAND THAT WATER IS STILL PRESUMABLY SAFE BUT THE CITY DOESN’T TEST IT, SO THEY PUT UP SIGNS.

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Cadeho 05/14/2017 at 2:07 PM

Chemicals? Frog species? What happened to salt? That would be safe, right?

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crd 05/14/2017 at 2:18 PM

#13 where is that spot? It is my understanding that if you cut one down, you also have to apply herbicide (Roundup,or other similar stuff) to keep anything from coming back. Perhaps he did that?

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John M 05/14/2017 at 3:05 PM

@CRD – at one of the memorial stones, I forget which. Rick Tatnall cut a portal last August that is still there (https://chpn.net/2016/08/13/love-the-view-from-chimborazo-park-this-time-of-year/)

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John M 05/14/2017 at 3:11 PM

2006 no weed trees

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John M 05/14/2017 at 3:12 PM

View to the east lost to the weed trees

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Cadeho 05/14/2017 at 7:33 PM

Back to chemicals… anyone notice VDOT sprayed the sides of 295 and 64 last year? By the end of the summer, plants had died or half died. It looked crazy. Maybe we need that?

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Kathleen 05/14/2017 at 9:10 PM

Trish Bernal is absolutely correct! The removal process is complicated according to the Tree Stewards.

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Chemical lover 05/14/2017 at 9:45 PM

Chemicals are a great idea!!!! what could go wrong? nothing at all? heck, kids, dogs, other plants, other species, who needs them on this planet? lets get our view back as quickly as possible!!!! let’s blast this park with all the poison we can get our hands on – great idea!!!!! seriously wtf?

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urbngrilla 05/15/2017 at 7:49 AM

Word on the street is that there is a “special meeting” coming early this June with DPW and a leadership from a handful of East End civic associations. They are being asked to prioritize projects in our neighborhoods for DPW.

Will they to get more details about this upcoming meeting and post em so folks can lobby for the Chimborazo Park hillside to be handled responsibly. Hopefully, we can breakdown the firewall between DPW and Parks/Rec and make something happen.

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booster 05/15/2017 at 7:59 AM

If Kim Gray and Mike Jones on city council have their way on the City’s budget, don’t expect anything to happen in this park or any other. Seriously. Don’t call Cynthia Newbille, call them.

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Daniel 05/15/2017 at 9:23 AM

People this is not that complicated… if these hillside were bush hogged and then maintained by cutting the grass and small saplings down every 2-4 weeks, they wouldn’t become established trees. The issue isn’t the lack of “proper” maintenance, its the ABSOLUTE neglect of tending to these hillsides. If 5 neighbors got together and weed wacked the hillside every 2 weeks, there is no way these “tree of heavens” would make it….

Look at the picture in the #19 post… that’s what a routinely maintained hillside looks from weed wacking!! And nothing else…

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frank pichel 05/15/2017 at 1:37 PM

Daniel’s right. Trees or any broad leaf species can not get established if they are mowed regularly. The city has bushhogs and hillside extended arms for them – I’ve seen them. This is not a complicated or intractable problem – those hillsides have been cleared for a hundred years, except for the last few.
If the city has some plan or reasoning behind their neglect I’d love to hear it. And I’d probably be supportive if their plan is rational. But if it’s just plain neglect, that’s super lame.

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Kathleen 05/15/2017 at 10:01 PM

The bottom line here is that this is not your yard. It’s basically the City’s ‘yard’ and the City gets to decide how it’s done and, obviously, whether or not anything will be done. If the City says removal needs to be done such-and-such way, that’s what’s going to happen. I really don’t give a rats ass how the City gets rid of the ghetto palms; I just want them gone. Mow them, bulldoze them, burn them, bush hog them, spray them – whatever works but just DO IT.

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urbngrilla 05/16/2017 at 7:48 AM

Here is the info on the Civic Associations meeting with DPW: Meet with Interim Director, Bobbby Vincent.Mon. June 5, 5:30-7pm Byrd Park Roundhouse.. 621 Westover Rd.

According to the flyer, this is a “speak directly with the DPW director to get things done”.

RSVP Sharon North, Public Information Manager, 646-5701 Sharon.North@richmond.gov‘ by Tues May 30.

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Kathleen 05/16/2017 at 9:21 AM

Thank you!!

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Daniel 05/16/2017 at 10:11 AM

#Kathleen

You are right the park is the cities yard. The issue is that the city is being that neighbor that does do shit to their yard, lets the grass grow to 5 feet and ONLY keeps up with it if someone forces them to. If the hillside was someone’s yard in the “historic” district, they would be getting notices to clean up or be fined.

I’m calling Mayor Stoney out for this:

Mr. Stoney you promised to keep up with the city and maintain it. So please do what you promised and CUT YOUR GRASS, especially the hillsides of our beautiful parks.

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Daniel 05/16/2017 at 10:14 AM

Lasty, I am willing to chip in $ to start a billboard that has the picture from 2006 in post #19 and states:

Our parks under Doug Wilder (the good looking hillside)

and

Our parks under Lavar Stoney (A picture of the current hillside)

Who is in?

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Paul Hammond 05/16/2017 at 11:25 AM

Not sure if it’s been mentions, but goats provide an excellent and environmentally friendly way of controlling unwanted vegetation. Some are current munching their way though the ivy at Evergreen Cemetery.

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Chris Lumpkin 05/16/2017 at 2:29 PM

I am reaching out to some helping hands to pull together some volunteer days to maintain the hillside. The city is not going to be able to mow that, so we will need to cut down the ailanthus etc, mulch over, and replant in the fall with desirable plants. I would actually love to turn this into a food forest project, so I will reach out to the tree stewards to help source new stock.

I don’t think this process is “complicated” per se, and I have done this before with ailanthus and paper mulberry, another hardy prolific plant in our region. It does take patience and a few years of perseverance, but at the end we will have preserved our viewshed and established a nice feature on the edge of Chimbo Park.

As part of this effort, we will also be freeing up the stone path that goes down the hillside, which is currently choked by weeds starting about 20 feet down. I’m meeting Rick Tatnall at the scene tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm if anyone wants to join.

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John M 05/16/2017 at 3:18 PM

@Chris – lemme know how I can help

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Dog walker 05/16/2017 at 6:17 PM

I would like to add my observation as I have lived on chimborazo park since the late 70s. The grass on the hill was kept mowed and the view was still good until the early 2000s when tropical storm gaston came through and there was a lot of erosion on sections of the hill. This is definitly not a matter of bush hogging the hill as portions of the hill are almost a vertical drop off. My experience with the weed trees on the hill is that you need both chemicals and cutting to get rid of them.

For some reason I have never understood, chimborazo park does not get maintained as well as libby park.

If this problem was in libby hill park, do you think it would get taken care of?

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Kathleen 05/16/2017 at 10:34 PM

#32: I can’t get behind blaming Mayor Stoney for the problem of the ghetto trees. This problem started, and then continued, under Mayor Jones. It was under Mayor Jones’ administration that the lack of care for the parks started and it was even publicly stated that parks care would be little to none by DPW. Mayor Stoney inheritated this problem, among many other neglectful situations across the city.
#34: The biggest complicating factor in regards to removal of the ghetto trees is working with the city. My take is that they only want to tree stewards working on the removal of invasive plants and the tree stewards are committed to Belle Island and JRPS. Maybe you’ll have better luck with the City – I certainly hope so. I’m in for work and I will contribute toward the purchase of Brush-b-Gone. Also, Friends of Chimborazo Park may have some funds available to help purchase supplies. Please update us on the results of your meeting. I would have attended if I’d known about it.
#36: This would not happen in Libby Hill Park because they have an active Parks committee that has developed and maintained a relationship with DPW.

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Brian 05/17/2017 at 11:08 AM

@34: I missed the meeting, but I’m down with some tree murder. My only concern is when / if the city shows up and we get fined for whatever reason. If we can get permission to go out and have some fun, I’m ready to go.

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Daniel 05/17/2017 at 11:50 AM

@Kathleen

Do you not remember Mayor Stoney saying that he would fix the parks and disarray of this city?

Just because the park neglect started under Jones, is a poor cop-out to say its not Stoneys problem. This is his city now, so it is HIS problem. He signed up for the job willing!

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booster 05/17/2017 at 1:29 PM

#37 The exact same people are answering the complaints line at the city under the new mayor as under the old mayor, and he’s had a whole growing season to get caught up. He’s on deck to fix this.

Also, this is 100% Doug Wilder’s fault because he and his city council made Parks Dept a secondary priority under Public Works dept. Only the whole city council can change that.

Most importantly, for all of us neighborhood project wonks out here, don’t let the West End and Southside city council reps off the hook who just made it an act of city council to fix something like this hillside if it’s not already a budget line item. Call council people Kim Gray and Michael Jones and Parker Agelasto if you call anyone.

http://www.richmondgov.com/CityCouncil/contacts.aspx

Kim, Parker and Mike want you to call them about this. Call them. Please. Get these invasive weed trees cut. View be damned, the non native trees are bad for the environment.

Neighbors with chainsaws on an unstable snake infested overgrown steep hillside is a terrible idea in every case. Please no one get hurt. Let’s make city hall do it!!!

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Chemical lover 05/17/2017 at 1:42 PM

Dog walker you are right! Chemicals!!! yay!!! lots and lots of poison!! please!!!! lets not do it the environmentally friendly way- that takes way too long!! lets dump as much toxicity as possible in this area. Screw the frogs and the wildlife and the Bald Eagles and everything else that lives and hunts in this area- we need our view now!!!!! Screw nature man.

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The weed trees at Chimborazo Park are being cleared right now - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 05/30/2017 at 11:15 AM

[…] The view from Chimborazo Park is stellar this time of year (5/13/17) […]

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Trish Bernal 06/03/2017 at 10:17 AM

This is the response I received from the City Arborist, Norm Brown.

http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/projects/vegetative-management/publications/roadside-vegetative-mangement-factsheets/3ailanthus-on-roadsides

You will most likely need a funding source, and a contractor to address this concern. The chemical controls need a Certified Applicator and proper equipment to apply.
The window is June through September for the most effective root control.Environmental concerns need to be considered for chemical runoff.This is not an easy direction to go but it would be the most effective.Follow-up annually to gain control over the situation.
The City does not currently have the Certifications or Equipment at this time to manage this problem.

Thank You
Norm Brown
City Arborist North, East, and Downtown

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