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Forest Service funded invasive plant inventory and control project
In 2011, we received a 3-year Title II grant from the USDA Forest Service to assist the Ottawa National Forest (ONF) in their invasive plant monitoring and control work in Sylvania and Perimeter Area. In the fall of 2012, we received additional funding to continue the project for another 2 years.
Specifically, the project goals and objectives are:
- to assist the ONF in their persistent thistle problem (European swamp, Canada, and bull thistles)
- to conduct an invasive plant survey and, if possible, remove any plants found (with emphasis on invasives known to be growing and spreading in Sylvania: garlic mustard, Japanese barberry, European swamp thistle, Canada thistle, bull thistle, spotted knapweed)
- to provide hands-on conservation education to the general public and student interns on invasive plant threats and solutions
- to minimize invasive seed sources that may be transferred into the Sylvania Wilderness by continuing the work on invasive plants in the Sylvania Recreational Area that we begain in 2010
The grant permits us to hire 2-3 part-time interns and to buy some tools and supplies. The project coordinator, project assistant, and all other personel providing assistance are volunteering their time.
Our Annual Report to the US Forest Service summarizes our work.
Take a look at our Blog to see what we are doing this year.
Trail and portage clearing
Most of the trail and portage clearing of fallen trees in Sylvania is being done by volunteers. The tools they use are, however, very simple since no mechanized equipment is permitted in the Wilderness. Several times a year, volunteers attack huge tree trunks using nothing but a two-man saw, a bow saw, and an ax. For a log and pictures of recent trail and portage clearing activities click here.
Talks and informational hikes
We co-sponsore talks at the ONF Visitor Center and hikes through the forest. Click here for more information and pictures of past events.
Native plants garden
For many years, only one type of flower grew in the L-shaped flower box next to the day-use building: Dendalion. In 2010, with support from the ONF, we began to establish a native plants garden. Our goal is to turn this box into an educational 'native plants garden'. Specifically, we are planning to have several similar-looking plants, such as a variety of ferns, growing next to each other so that visitors can study the small differences and will then be able to identify the plants in the wild.
In 2011, we received the US Forest Service's:
Wings across the Americas
Butterfly Conservation Award
for support to the Eastern Region Pollinator Program and the Ottawa National Forest Native Gardens. For more information and pictures, please click here.