Because of the large property, Bob wanted CYO's effort to look like a significant change had occurred, so we both agreed we would work on just one of the twelve ponds on the property. Ironically or not, we choose to work on the pond named Louis' Pond. Looking back, it was a commitment of responsible stewardship, it seemed, that CYO really wanted to make to my late father.
Louis' Pond had significant Russian Olive growth and many of the trees were growing in very hard-to-get, shoreline locations. There was also a huge pile of Russian Olive trees that were piled in a mound years earlier. Needless to say, it seemed CYO had picked a daunting first project to attempt!
When I arrived, early in the morning on the fall day of the cleanup, there were already numerous volunteers, both parents and their kids, eagerly working on removing the olive trees. When it became clear that one Bobcat wasn't nearly going to be efficient and quick enough to remove hundreds of trees, I was asked by a father/daughter team if they could use their pickup and a chain to pull out the trees near the road? Then a host of other volunteers began doing the same thing, and I watched this small army attacking the nuisance trees and hauling them to the pile.
The most fascinating aspect, though, was watching the mulching process, operated by the volunteer efforts of the City of Loveland. That is an amazing machine and it proves the point that proper supervision is required when operating dangerous equipment like a mulcher. In the end we were provided with lots and lots of beneficial mulch that will be available to spread around the heavier used areas to limit weed growth and human impact. What a win-win that was!
I wish to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the CYO volunteers, both the parents and kids, who helped beautify Louis' Pond to a degree I did not believe possible in one day. It proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that CYO is a premier organization of committed individuals willing to go the extra mile and give back more than they receive. Dad would be so proud of your accomplishments!