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Wesley Ridge Woodland Restoration

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My name is Barbara K. Velez Barbosa. I am a Certified  Wildlife Ambassador for National Wildlife Federation and a Master Gardener Volunteer for Fairfield County Ohio. I am also the current President of Wild Ones Columbus. I am requesting your support of a volunteer project in Reynoldsburgh, Ohio as a way of paying it forward to people that have given to our generation in the past.  

I was contacted in March 2014 by Fairfield County OSU Extension Office, Connie Smith. She asked me to go and talk to the residents of the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community about planting native wildflowers in their woodland area. When I arrived, I meet June Harcum; she is a resident and lovely lady. We talked about what they wanted in the woodland. She said, "We want to get out and enjoy nature by taking a walk on the path that runs between the wooded areas. We want to enjoy looking at wildflowers that attrack butterflies. I said I would be willing to work on this project. I asked if she could try and raise a little money from the residents for the native plants to plant in the spring. She was able to raise $500.00 for plants and mulch.  

Both sides of the path in the woodland had been used as a dumping area for landscaping construction debris. It needed some excavating, removal of invasive plants and removal of the unwanted debris. As I stood there with June looking around, I decided to work on one side of the woodland at a time. When we met in March 2014  there were no weeds, the ground was covered with leaves. However, when I arrived in the spring the woodland was full of invasive plants, i.e. garlic mustard, poison ivy and burdock, not to mention a lot of rocks mixed in with the contractors' debris. I spent April 2014 clearing around the base of the trees along the path and then wildflowers were planted. 

After planting the spring plants, I realized this project needed more volunteers. Four (MGV) stepped up to help. We started weeding on the right side of the path and spent many hours pulling invasive weeds until fall. We returned  in the spring of 2015, continued to clear the right side of the path, then started clearing invasive weeds on the other side following the path. We dug up 200 Ohio native plants from the prairie areas of my yard and relocated them to the  woodland. That winter I sowed over 13  pounds of native seeds collected from my prairie areas. 

A monarch oasis was added by Scout Troop #456 in 2016, this was an Eagle Scout Project for James Cannon, IV. The residents saw their first Monarchs in the woodland this summer and they were thrilled. The residents have added a bird feeder and a bird bath. In 2016 I  have continued to spend 2-3 days a month keeping the area weeded. 

In spring 2016,  I contacted National Wildlife Federation  (NWF).  After completing an application I was given "Trees for Wildlife" from them. Wild Ones Columbus received native trees and shrubs from the City of Columbus "Branch Out Columbus". On Earth Day 2016  volunteers and residents planted over 400 native trees and shrubs at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community "Woodland Restoration Project".  

Now I need funding to have the other side of the woodland excavated. The quote is $900.00 for this to be completed. I need your help to raise funds.  In October 2016, I received 400 trees from (NWF) "Trees for Widllife", as of  November 3, 2016, 325 of the trees have been planted and 75 will be planted when excavating is completed. My goal is to have this project completed by the  3rd week of November. Please send funds so generations before and after us can walk the path to enjoy nature at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community.

I appreciate you reading my request and look forward to your support of the Woodland Restoration Project at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community. I want to thank you all in advance for helping us complete this project. If you send your name and address I will dedicate a tree in your name and will send a photo of it being planted to you.

God Bless the Giving Heart,



Barbara Velez Barbosa
Reynoldsburg, OH

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