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Spring’s the Thing


As I write this, there’s still at least 6 inches of frozen precipitation on the ground, streams everywhere are overflowing with snowmelt, and I have yet to dig one car out of a lingering man-made drift in hopes that Mother Nature will eventually do the job for me. 

Given the epic winter we’ve endured this year, spring can’t come soon enough. And it should (fingers crossed) be here by the time Earth Day rolls around on April 22. This month, we give nature its props with a pair of stories by senior writer J.F. Pirro. One is a profile of John B. Ward & Company, an acclaimed Bryn Mawr tree-care business with a storied 50-year history (Arbor Day is April 30, after all). The other, “One With the Earth,” takes a hard look at the burgeoning—and controversial—green burial movement and its influential local proponents.

If you’re looking to get out and do something this Earth Day, celebrate early at Vine-a-thon, where you can help remove the five-leaf akebia vine and other invasive plants at the Riverbend Environmental Education Center (1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, riverbendeec.org). The event is slated for April 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers can win prizes for the most plants cleared, the longest vine and the dirtiest team.

Or grab the kids and head to the Lower Merion Conservancy (lmconservancy.org) for its annual Children’s Earth Day Forest April 24-25 at Waverly Heights (1400 Waverly Road, Gladwyne). Hundreds of area school children will create life-size artistic renditions of plants and animals. The weekend also includes take-home crafts, treasure hunts, live animals, science activity stations, prizes and more. The forest is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; admission is free. The conservancy’s native plant sale features wild bergamot (for hummingbirds), butterfly weed, native honeysuckle, leaf mold compost and more. Order items by April 26, then pick them up May 6-8 at Rolling Hill Park (1301 Rose Glen Road, Gladwyne). Call (610) 645-9030 for a catalog.

And if you can’t make any of these events, you can always visit one of the area’s many botanical gardens, arboretums or parks. Or simply play in your own garden.

Also in this issue: Travel editor Marilyn Odesser-Torpey gets the inside scoop on five great spring and summer getaways in “Escape with Ease.” Like her monthly Great Escape column, the emphasis is on drivable, affordable destinations, sophisticated lodging and dining options, and activities for all tastes and energy levels.

Like she never left: Senior editor Dawn E. Warden has moved into a contributing role at MLT so she can devote more time to her family and other creative outlets. Lucky for us, she’ll continue to oversee our Epicure section and write her weekly foodie blog, Bocconcini—among other things.

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