Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli was amazed by what a group of Andersen Windows employees accomplished during an afternoon of community service in Hudson's Prospect Park.
Some 25 to 30 workers cleared far more invasive buckthorn from the bluff behind where the former Hudson Memorial Hospital stood than Zeuli was expecting.
“You should see what they did,” he said in phone message encouraging a reporter to take a photograph of cleared area.
The Andersen group was at the park on Thursday afternoon, May 19. Their community service was organized by Wiley Buck, an ecologist and program manager with Great River Greening, a St. Paul-based environmental nonprofit that works to get people and communities involved in ecological restoration.
Speaking to Buck at the start of last week's project, Zeuli asked if Great River Greening could make buckthorn removal from the Prospect Park bluff an ongoing project.
“We would like to clear this hillside. It (has) such a view of the river. It's a beautiful part of the park, but nobody uses it,” Zeuli said. That's because the thick buckthorn makes walking difficult and blocks the view of the St. Croix River.
Hudson Rotarians have cleared buckthorn from parts of the bluff in the past.
“We start clearing it and then it gets forgotten about,” Zeuli said. “This buckthorn is so aggressive and it grows so fast. It would take a really good effort to keep going at this. I hope you guys come back.”
Buck said Great River Greening would love to organize more work crews for Prospect Park buckthorn removal, but funding is a limiting factor. He said the generosity of Andersen Corp. brought the crew there last Thursday.
“It's just a great area. We would love to release those big oaks,” said Buck.