Newsletter - January, 2005

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

The Friends of Ridley Creek State Park Trailworkers got off to a strong start on New Year’s Day with when a whopping 28 volunteers showed up at 9am to clean and maintain the trails. What a great way to start the year! If you missed January and would still like to get outdoors, the next trail work is scheduled for Saturday, February 5th from 9am-12pm. Remember, this is a rugged group- Trailworkers meet in rain, snow, sleet or shine provided Septa is operating and the Park is open! If you would like to know more about the Trails Group, what to bring or you just want to register, please email or call Howard Sherman at 610-626-0651.

The Grounds Committee has also been active over the last month to clear the vines, non native plants, downed trees from the bank at the back of the parking lot. This area was chosen because everyone sees it as soon as they enter the Park. With the help of the Community Service Corp. and local volunteers, the area now looks much more presentable and can be re-planted in spring. We have coordinated with various sources to get planting material for little or no cost. If you would like to contribute to this effort (financially or with sweat equity) or would like to join this very active group, who meets almost weekly, contact .

Corporate donors
MBNA of Delaware and Smith Barney of Conshohocken have made generous contributions of $1000 and $500, respectively, based on volunteer time donated by two very active Friends members. Friends President Jim Kline and Grounds Chairman Ed Hunter have put in well over 400 hours combined in 2004 leading the Boy Scouts, Westtown Friends School students and other volunteers in returning the Link Memorial Fountain and formal gardens to their original splendor. Their work will be evident come spring, but you can view some of the work in progress at . Funds will be used, in part, to buy more and better tools for our ever-expanding volunteer but very professional workforce! Donations such as these are much needed so check your company to see if it has a similar matching program!

February Event
On Saturday, February 19th at 1pm, the Friends will host a presentation on birds, wildlife and plants native to Ridley Creek State Park. Tom Reeves, local expert on birding and forestry, will be the featured speaker. Tom graduated from the Barnes Arboretum Horticultural School, is a nature guide at the John Heinz Refuge at Tinicum, the Valley Forge Audubon Society, Tyler Arboretum and has taught numerous adult night school classes on this subject. February is a cold and seemingly dormant time, but Tom will focus on what is nature is up to at this time of year. The presentation, however, will be held indoors in the Mansion ballroom! Refreshments will be served and a mansion tour will follow. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Volunteers Needed
The photo contest, chaired by Carol Rubin, has been a great success for the past two years. The 2004 contest received close to 200 entries and 2005 is projected to attract just as much if not more interest. Carol, however, will be rededicating her efforts to an exciting new fall project as well as chairing the Events Committee for the Friends. That means that the 2005 Photo Contest needs a new chairperson. Duties include soliciting sponsors, budgeting, organizing and displaying photos, coordinating food, staffing the event and communicating with prospective entrants. You won’t be working alone, but this event does need a leader. If interested, please contact for more information .

The Park is still looking for Front Desk Volunteers to cover time in the winter months. Contact Roger McChesney, Park Manager, for details or email . Training is provided.

Membership Chair With more and more individuals becoming interested in the Friends, we are in need of someone who can conduct community outreach, solicit new members, manage our existing membership list and keeping the dues current. If you are interested in this position, please email

The Friends look forward to a productive and fun-filled year. We are always looking for ways to “spread the word,” so if you know someone who might like to volunteer, become a corporate sponsor or just be updated through our email list, please pass along.

Thank you!

The Friends of Ridley Creek State Park

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