Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to Register for 2014 "Battling Bittersweet" Work Day

Thanks for your interest in the October 25, 2014 Glastonbury Partners in Planting "Battling Bittersweet" Work Day at Riverfront Park, 200 Welles St., Glastonbury, CT!

Please be sure to register no later than October 23rd.



Email your name and contact info (phone number and e-mail address) to   Please confirm that you are at least 18 and that you are experienced using the tools you will be bringing (see "What To Bring" post in this blog). For 2014 there will only be one work shift from 9 AM to noon.

If you miss the registration deadline or you're suddenly available you are still welcome to come to the event and you will be added to a work team if at all possible. However we prefer pre-registration for planning purposes.

If you do not have access to email you can mail your registration information to GPIP, P.O. Box 378, South Glastonbury, CT. 06073.

Please volunteer! It will be a great day!

Once you have registered be sure to review the material on this site, especially safety precautions, what to wear, and what to bring. If you cannot identify bittersweet or poison ivy it is also extremely important that you review the Plant Identification section.

Please Note: Volunteers under the age of 18 will be asked to provide a signed parental consent form.

Directions to the Work Site

The Work Day will be at:

Riverfront Park
200 Welles St.
Glastonbury, CT. 06033

Coming from the intersection of Main and Welles Streets, 200 Welles St. is the first left immediately after Riley and Scranton. Look for a large sign for the Riverfront Park and a smaller Glastonbury Partners in Planting sign.

Park in the lot closest to the baseball field then follow the signs directing you down the walking path toward the dog park. Look for the Work Day sign-in and work area about 100' down the path.

The following coordinates are for the exact location: 41.71002 -72.61257

What to Expect on Work Day

Please review the material in this site regarding safety, tools, procedures, what to wear, directions to site, and so on. Be sure you have registered. If you have not registered you may still come to the Work Day and we can probably get you on a work team.

Click here to view a video from the 2013 Work Day. This will give you a great overview of the planned work and some of the great people who volunteered last year.

Here's what to expect when you arrive for your chosen work shift!
  • Bring your own tools, gloves, etc. (see info elsewhere on this site). Make sure your tools are sharp and in good working order before you arrive.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early to allow time to park, walk to the site and sign in. Volunteer oritntation begins at 9 AM.
  • If you have any questions ask anyone wearing a GPIP safety vest and they'll help you.
  • You will be asked to sign a liability waiver at sign in, and given a GPIP button to show that you have signed in.
  • Every volunteer will be assigned to a Work Team when they sign in.
  • Each Work Team will consist of 4 to 6 volunteers working with 1 Team Leader.
  • Each Work Team will have their own work area, as indicated by area signs.
  • We will begin with a mandatory 10 minute orientation session covering introductions, safe practices, plant identification, and cutting procedures.
  • If you have not signed in and signed the waiver you will not be allowed to work.
  • After the 10 minute orientation the Work Teams will take their tools to their designated work area and attack the invasives!
  • The work will be moderately strenuous. There will be no heavy lifting but a lot of bending and arm-work with loppers.
  • There is some POISON IVY at the site so plan on being extra careful not to get into it. If you have a severe reaction to poison ivy it might be better to "pass" on volunteering; we'd rather have one less volunteer than see you at the emergency room a few days later.
  • The work will take 3 hours including the orientation session.
  • Take breaks as needed and hydrate frequently.
  • If you tire before noon it's OK to stop early. We appreciate your volunteering regardless of how long you can work. Use your own judgment and don't overdo it.
  • There is no hurry. Safety is paramount!
  • There will be a break area with seating, water, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Tecnu (poison ivy wash) and insect spray will be provided if you forget to bring your own.
  • Please SIGN OUT when you leave and return your GPIP button.

Important Safety Precautions

You will be responsible for taking appropriate safety precautions and for working in a manner that does not risk the safety of others. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Learning how to identify and avoid poison ivy (see "Plant Identification and Tools").
  • Signing in upon arrival.
  • Do not begin work before the opening safety and work plan meeting, which will be held at 9 AM sharp.
  • Completing the safety meeting and receiving an identified to wear. Nobody will be allowed to work without this identifier.
  • Knowing how to safely work with the tools you bring.
  • Leaving a safety margin between yourself and other volunteers.
  • Carefully handling any debris.
  • Not leaving tools on the ground where others might trip or be injured.
  • Wearing attire that is appropriate for the work.
  • Following all safety instructions provided.
  • Checking yourself for ticks, using poison ivy wash, and showering as soon as you reasonably can after finishing work.
  • Properly and promptly cleaning all tools, attire including hats, gloves and shoes, and making sure that family members and others at home are not exposed to the poison ivy oil (urushiol) that may be on items you used or wore at the work day.
  • If you are not confident with your knowledge and ability to work safely, or are unsure of how you may react to poison ivy, we ask that you volunteer to help with the sign-in and break area rather than the wooded work area.
First Aid:

There will be a basic safety kit at the work site sign-in table. Feel free to bring your own safety kit and any medications unique to your situation (for example, if you are very allergic to bee stings).


Be sure to stay well hydrated. Water will be provided at the sign-in table. Feel free to bring your own. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

What to Bring (and Not to Bring)

You will need to provide your own tools. Mark your tools with your name, initials or other method to distinguish your tools from those of others. Bring what you have:


Heavy Gloves: Capable of withstanding multiflora rose thorns. Tip: Break in your gloves prior to the work day to avoid developing blisters.

Eye Protection


Pruning Shears:

Small Bow Saw (Recommended):

(Also see "What to Wear" post)


Water, sports drink or other non-alcoholic hydration.

Sun block (perspiration resistant).

Tecnu or other poison ivy wash.

Insect repellent.


Small Pruning Saw:

Weed Wrench:

Pruning Stick (6' maximum length):


SOMETHING TO CARRY YOUR TOOLS: If you bring more than a few tools you may want to bring a tool belt, pail or other means of carrying your tools around the site. This helps keep track of them. You will also be carrying some plastic tape (will be provided) for marking cut stumps.

ALSO SEE: "Plant Identification and Tools"

DO NOT BRING: Axes, hatchets, machetes, power tools (chain saws, weed whackers, etc.); heavy equipment (brush hogs, generators, etc.); pole saws, chains, come-alongs. We will not be doing heavy work so leave the Cat D4 at home.




What To Wear on Work Day

  • Heavy gloves capable of withstanding multiflora rose thorns.
  • Sturdy footwear that extends up to cover at least the ankle, if possible.
  • No flip-flops, sandals or ordinary shoes worn without socks.
  • Eye protection.
  • Hat.
  • Long-sleeved shirt.
  • Long pants.
  • Sunblock (perspiration resistant).
  • Insect repellant of choice.

Plant Identification and Tools

The following video playlist will help you be able to identify poison ivy and oriental bittersweet on work day. Be sure to review before you arrive. It could save you an ocean of calamine lotion, or worse, a trip to the emergency room.

Please take the risk of poison ivy seriously, take every precaution, and thorough clean-up is a must after you are done working. Remember that the urushiol oil (the oil that causes the allergic reaction) is very persistent on shoes, clothing, tools, gloves, etc, which means family members and others can be exposed via contact with these items (while putting your work day clothing in the laundry, for example). If you are not familiar with the precautions and necessary clean-up, do your homework before the work day because after is too late.

There are also several videos on work day tools (how to use, how to sharpen). Arriving with sharp tools that function well is the best way to save a lot of sweat and tears.