2017 STEWARDSHIP PROJECT REPORTS
Myersville Fen State Nature Preserve Stewardship Project
On Wednesday, August 9th, a small group of 4 volunteers along with preserve manager, Charlotte McCurdy and ONAPA stewardship assistants, Will and Emily worked at Myersville Fen SNP to remove woody invasives, purple loosestrife, and hairy will0w-herb. There is much work to be done in the two small fen meadows, but we accomplished alot during the 4 hours we worked in one of the meadows. Located in the backyards of a housing development in Uniontown, the preserve is also impacted by yard waste and invasives coming from residents' landscaping. Fortunately there were several impressive fen plants blooming which made the mucky work all the more worthwhile - shrubby cinquefoil, Canada burnet, joe-pye-weed, mountain-mint, Kalm's lobelia, and seaside arrowgrass (Triglochin palustris).
Bush Honeysuckle Removal at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
On Wednesday, June 21st, a hardy group of 11 ONAPA volunteers and DNAP preserve manager, Michelle Comer ventured to the scientific side of Clifton Gorge (permit-only) to work on controlling invasive shrubs such as Amur honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, and common privet. It was quite a hike, and climb for some to reach the lower regions, where we were able to cut and treat the stems of invasive shrubs which are threatening rare plants like red baneberry. We were fortunate to see some red baneberry in fruit. After working for several hours, we had a short hike on the interpretive side where Tim Snyder talked about the history and geology of the preserve. Although it was a warm, humid day, we accomplished alot of management and had a great day in a spectacular preserve.
Garlic Mustard Control at Collier State Nature Preserve
On Wednesday, May 17th, 19 volunteers worked at Collier Preserve to control garlic mustard. This group include 12 from ONAPA, 3 from DNAP, and 4 from AgCredit (a local community service program). We worked in the floodplain area on both sides of the trail where the wildflowers are abundant and lush. We pulled many bags of garlic mustard, which were ferried back to the parking area by DNAP using an ATV and small trailer (see photo). The garlic mustard was then loaded on a trailer behind a truck (see photo), so it could be disposed of away from the preserve. It was a large load of garlic mustard, with more left to be controlled in the preserve. We were thankful for the extra help!
Garlic Mustard Control at Miller (Eugene & Henrietta) State Nature Preserve
On a beautiful spring day, Wednesday, May 3rd, ONAPA volunteers worked with preserve manager, Josh Deemer to pull garlic mustard at Miller Nature Sanctuary in Highland County. We had 6 ONAPA volunteers and our two new ONAPA Stewardship Assistants, Emily Powell and William Bonner. We worked hard to scout and pull garlic mustard, bringing 7 medium bags of garlic mustard out of two different areas in the preserve. Many years of garlic mustard control has paid off and we did not find large areas of garlic mustard this time. Heroic efforts by volunteers and Josh were made to eradicate garlic mustard from precarious slump blocks in the preserve (see photos). We enjoyed a scenic hike to two waterfalls, an arch, impressive wildflowers, and rare plants such as Sullivantia growing on the dolomite cliffs. Photos below courtesy of Jan Kennedy
Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve Garlic Mustard Control Project
ONAPA along with DNAP volunteers and staff covered a large floodplain area at Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve on Tuesday, April 25th to scout for and pull garlic mustard. There were 10 ONAPA volunteers, 3 local DNAP volunteers, and 2 DNAP staff, including preserve manager, Josh Deemer participating in this stewardship project. We pulled 7 large bags of garlic mustard from this area, which also had excellent spring wildflowers. After pulling garlic mustard, Josh led us on a nice hike to a different location in the preserve to see an impressive waterfall.
Garlic Mustard Control at Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve
On Thursday, April 6th, 10 hardy ONAPA volunteers and 4 DNAP staff/volunteers worked at Christmas Rocks SNP for 4 hours to pull garlic mustard. The weather forecast was for rain and high winds, so we had a smaller group than expected, but with 14 people, we pulled 7 large bags of garlic mustard in a ravine that had a significant amount of this invasive plant. After lunch, a small group went on a field trip with Jim Osborn, retired DNAP preserve manager, and saw an excellent array of spring wildflowers and sandstone rock formations. It was another successful stewardship project - we greatly appreciate the commitment of ONAPA volunteers.
On Wednesday, March 29th, ONAPA had a very successful stewardship project at Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve. Along with preserve manager, Levi Miller, there were 20 volunteers, an excellent start for our season. We pulled garlic mustard along the hillside below the great rhododendron population - 5 large plastic bags or over 250 pounds! After lunch, we had an amazing field trip through the rock formations which were truly impressive (permit-only to most visitors). While there is still more garlic mustard to pull, we all felt we made a huge dent in the population.
Woody Species Removal at Brinkhaven Oak Barrens
On Wednesday, March 8th, ONAPA partnered with the Killbuck Watershed Land Trust to conduct more habitat management in the north barrens of Brinkhaven Oak Barrens in Holmes County. Fourteen volunteers worked for 3-4 hours clearing brush that had been cut at the October stewardship project, as well as cutting more brush to open the prairie opening. This work will significantly enhance the north barrens, so we are excited to see the response from the prairie species this summer. The day also included a short tour of the south barrens.