Lane Street Project: Season Two goals.

In Season One, our volunteer corps ripped out the unimpenetrable tangle that had impeded entry across Odd Fellow’s front tree line, cleared deadfall, and lopped vines to transform the cemetery’s appearance and accessibility. 

Here’s what we want to tackle in Season Two.

Complete the clearing of the fence between Odd Fellows and Vick. Largely as a result of a single family’s attention, we were able to open up the fence line nearly halfway back. The growth here is largely privet and honeysuckle with stems of relatively small diameter. Loppers and hand pruners are good tools to use in this area, as well as hard-tined rakes to remove the clippings.

Reclaim the Mincey family plot. Benjamin Mincey was a famed early chief of Wilson’s all-Black Red Hot volunteer fire fighters, and his grave is fittingly marked with a hydrant. His son M. Ben Mincey toiled for decades, largely by himself, to clean Odd Fellows, and the clear area nearest the road is the legacy of his work. Last season, we cut back to the ground the large shrub that was leaning on the hydrant, but over the summer, it shot up suckers nearly five feet high. These need to be cut back to the ground (and treated with defoliant), and the young wisteria you see snaking around clipped. (While we’re looking — check out that clear view a hundred feet or more over into Vick Cemetery. That was impossible this time last year!)

Break the ankles on all this wisteria. Wisteria is the most detrimental invasive plant species in Odd Fellows. After you admire its jungly beauty, snip every single vine like this that you see — once at the ground and again as high as you can reach. 

Clear the space around this pile of gravestones. I found my great-grandmother Rachel Barnes Taylor‘s marker in this pile in January 2021. There are at least twenty whole or broken stones here, piled up during unknown clean-ups decades past. Wisteria needs to be cut away from the area, the small saplings removed, and the soil probed carefully for more buried markers. 

Remove deadfall. While we generally discourage chainsaw usage, a knowledgeable handler might be necessary to saw these dead pines into moveable chunks. Please be careful.

Stop baby wisteria in its tracks. An unintended consequence of ridding the tree canopy of wisteria was an increase in sunlight reaching the forest floor. By mid-summer, innumerable little wisteria shrublets had popped up, making access to the interior of the cemetery nearly impossible. Now that they’ve shed their leaves, they’re difficult to detect in this photo, but you’ll see them immediately. If we don’t clip these now, they’ll be wrapped around a tree by next season.

Physical labor is not the only type of work that supports Lane Street Project’s efforts to reclaim Odd Fellows. Please see here for ideas. We appreciate all the help we can get — there’s a role for everyone to play!

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2021.

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