Big Day in the Neighborhood

Last Saturday was a big day in Southern Gables. With our wild and sudden weather changes, the leaves on many of our trees are hanging on for dear life. We don’t often hear leaves talking (they usually just whisper), but last week they were saying, “Hot day, cold day, oh look, snow!  I’m so confused, I ain’t goin’ nowhere!”  The Friday leaf raking for our seniors and disabled residents was snowed out and postponed, but by Saturday’s Leaf Collection Day we were “open for business” for everyone else in the neighborhood. 

By the time Saturday dawned, the snow that had interrupted Friday’s leaf raking was long gone. Its effects would be felt for a while though. since the young volunteers from Denver Christian Middle School were prevented from raking for our seniors and disabled neighbors who had signed up. During the following days (and even continuing into next week) many of them with their individual families are doing the work, one by one. For the rest of our Southern Gables list, we solicited volunteers to finish the job. Neighbors are stepping up: Good Samaritans, willing to help.  

There are still some openings where volunteers would be welcomed and appreciated….   

But didn’t we have a great time Saturday!  Our Leaf Day was well attended, and we took in 664 bags of leaves from 79 neighbors who drove in and a few who walked in, compacted in our collection bins by dedicated leaf stompers. In addition to the stompers, Ken Fischer brought in a big load with his big blue dump truck, and several other truck runners went around picking up bags of leaves.

Where do they go?  Our contract with Republic Services was not just to haul the leaves away, but to get them into the process of composting so they will have a beneficial future use. The organic matter will be made available through commercial channels to be returned to the soil – where in addition to things like fruits and vegetables, they will end up making more… leaves.

Thanks to all who helped out! Groups of volunteers came from Westwoods Community Church, Carmody Middle School, D’Evelyn and Lakewood High Schools. Individuals from the neighborhood included Doug and Judy Whitten setting up in the early morning and then directing traffic in and out the single gate; Ken Fischer and Jeff Bair driving the truck doing scheduled pickups; Marci DeMott, Michelle Tovrea, and James Johnson at the check-in station; Bruce Loftis, Carolyn Wolfrum and Monica Norval unloading, with Bruce and some of the adult Westwoods volunteers taking turns atop the bins stomping along with the students.

A special shout-out to Rutger Meyers of Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, who is taking our excess leaves caused by the reschedule and will use them for mulch and composting, so even that last big problem is solved and they will not go to waste.

It was a great day!  Click a pic, scroll through.


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