By Kate Daly | Special to the Almanac
The spirit of longtime local resident Nancy Gonzalez lives on in a beautification project on Woodside Road, a swath of Village Hill that volunteers sowed with native flowers and grass seed on Halloween.
With enough rain, the flowers should bloom in the spring, a year after Ms. Gonzalez died at age 84. She was active in conservation efforts and cleanup day drives in Woodside.
Her family had asked that memorial donations be sent to the group she founded, the Woodside Landscape Committee. The committee took the $3,600 that was donated and sought an expert in local ecological restoration, Craig Dremann, to map out a test plot next to the bronze horse sculptures on the town-owned open space along Woodside Road, between Whiskey Hill and Canada roads.
The first step was to test the soil, which he describes as "nutrient poor due to grazing for hundreds of years."
The next step was to mow and create mounds out of the dried up wheat grass straw "because it has natural herbicides, and when it rains it will make a tea" that he says will prevent weed growth.
Last, he concocted a mix of fertilizer (super soil, bone meal, blood meal and ironite) with purple needle grass seeds and six native flower seeds (California poppy, Coast California poppy, tidy tips, lotus, gumplant, and ruby chalice clarkia).
Peggie MacLeod, Nita Sierke, Anne Kasten, Patsy Kahl, Sarah Swinerton, Marsha BonDurant, and Tina and Walt Dreyer then went to work planting the seeds in rows over a 1,200-square-foot area.
Mr. Dremann has offered to help them create their own plots at home, so the restoration movement may spread to other locations soon.
Go to woodsidegiving.org (the Woodside Community Foundation website) for more information and to contribute to the project.