Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Removing invasive shrubs March 31, 2007

Volunteers from near and far help to remove undesirable plants.

Careful work is necessary to avoid damage to nearby plants and soil.

Stems are initially cut at a height of 12 to 18 inches.

Later, a NAP crew will re-cut and apply herbicide to the stumps.

(March 31, 2007)

Volunteer Stewardship Day March 28 2004

Volunteers have cared to the woods for many years.

A major focus is the removal of invasive shrubs, that crowd out native wildflowers.

Our work parties often conclude with a nature walk. Here NAP staffer Steve Wilson points to an intermittant stream that runs north-westerly through the woods.

(March 28, 2004)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Protecting woody seedlings

For best success, plant native trees and shrubs when they are small - often less than 1 cm in diameter.

At this size, however, they are vulnerable to broken by clumsy humans.

Dan Ayers has invented a cage made of fence material to provide a visual impact and physically protect small plants.

Here's one with a paw paw seedling.

Consider these in the snow - they make it easy to see that SOMETHING is gong on that is worthy of protection. Hopefully this inspires some care.

To protect seedlings from deer or cattle, a full-size VACA cage is needed. See examples at Mattheii Botanical Garden parking lot or click here for details.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Doyle Nature Area Restoration History

Over the past 10 years, neighbors, volunteers, scout groups, and NAP staff have made enormous progress restoring the woods at Doyle Nature Area to their natural beauty and diversity.

A neighbor, Kathy (McKee) Squires, was one of the first to recognize the biodiversity in these woods. When the Natural Area Preservation Division was established in 1995, Dave Borneman sponsored a botanical inventory.

Over the years, NAP staff have developed a management plan, established a series of prescribed ecological burns, and focused many hours of staff and volunteer effort here.

Perhaps the most significant year was 2000, when teenagers from the New School cleared a 100-yard swath along the north edge of the woods. The effect was dramatic. Neighbors and visitors could see a forest where there had been an inpenetrable tangle. people felt safer, visits to the woodland area increased, and wildflowers appeared in profusion.

The first prescribed burn was conducted south of the woods in March 1996.

Yours truly "discovered" this park at a NAP volunteer stewardship day on May 17, 1997. David Mindell led volunteers who moved trillium, mayapple and false Solomon's seal from a new trail in the southwest corner of the woods.

Other volunteer stewardship days were held on May 21, 2000, March 23, 2002, and other dates. Some have cleared shrubs south of the woods, and in the area near the Verle entrance.

The work started in the