April 5, 2023

Thanks to All Involved with Recent Guyot Walk Cleanup

To the Editor:

The Guyot Walk had another volunteer-powered cleanup on Saturday, April 1, its second planting of native shrubs and wildflowers. The path is named for a former Princeton resident who taught geology at Princeton University (he was French, name pronounced ghee-YO). It shelters a dose of unrestrained greenery and has long provided a shortcut to school for biking children, a break for families, nannies (and thus toddlers), and dog walkers.

About 20 residents, directed by neighbors familiar with Garden State wildflowers, dug out the yellow lesser celandine that is overwhelming natives (e.g. violets, and perhaps your lawn, too?) to set in viburnum, bluebells (now flowering), and more, all native to Mercer County. Watch for the windflowers at the junction of Harris and the Walk — they should bloom in early summer. All species are hardy and chosen for their potential to out-compete the celandine.

Born as a much-needed outreach after COVID-19 isolation and politics, this project has become a way for neighbors to meet and work with town officials — a democratic effort. We have had tremendous support from Princeton municipality’s open space manager, Cindy Taylor, with plants, contacts, and expert advice; the municipal arborist, Taylor Sapudar, who replaced diseased ash trees with oaks and redbuds; Princeton Public School Facilities Department, who saw to the removal of rubber crumb that spilled into the brook and equipment along the fence; and Princeton Public Works, which empties the trash. The team at Sustainable Princeton provided invaluable help with planning and outreach.

We are proud of these results and pleased with them: a resident project that remains with residents, resident leadership, and official support. Our thanks to all involved.

Next cleanup and planting: Saturday, May 13. Join your neighbors — learn about native plants, each other, and even the brook. Volunteers can learn more and sign up at SustainablePrinceton.org/events

Mary Clurman
Harris Road