Sunday is a work day for Friends of Wallisch

Asking volunteers to plant flowers, clear trails

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The Friends of Wallisch have scheduled their next work party for Sunday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among the duties: plant flowers in conjunction with the Echo Lake Baptist Church and the township-wide Faith in Action Day.

The Friends are seeking donations from the community of flats of flower which will be planted by the volunteers from Echo Lake Baptist Church. The object is to add some curb appeal to the main house in time for the Memorial Day Parade, which passes in front of the homestead. Last month the flower beds were restored and all the soil was turned over and mulched during the first work party of the season. This will be a great way to support our town but also to honor our service men, organizers said.

John Wallisch was a veteran and he and his brother, Lou, were instrumental in establishing the American Legion. Lou Wallisch was the master of ceremonies before the parade for many years before his passing when the 100-acre farmstead was left jointly to the township and board of education.

The Friends of Wallisch would also like to clean some of the hiking trails down to Belchers Creek so the community may enjoy the property throughout the year. These trails start behind the stone barn and travel through the original farm pasture, into the forested wetlands, over a wooden foot bridge and vernal pool all created as part of a wetlands remediation plan instituted by Ramapo University several years ago. Step one is to open the trails and step two will be to restore the sign placards which have been bleached out by the sun. The Friends has reached out to Ramapo University to support the effort.

Tours of the property will be held and the master plan will also be available which outlines the potential use by the community of the stone barn as an exhibition center and the creamery being transformed into a learning center.

The Friends of Wallisch Homestead is a nonprofit corporation. To make material or cash donations, contact John Hefferon at wallischhomestead@gmail.com and visit the group on facebook.

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