Saturday, May 19, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: May 16-19th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Crew member, Noah, protecting native plants
(shown are columbine on top left, common
milkweed on right center, and prairie
smoke on bottom left) by removing invasive
species around Lake Como

This last week the YO2 crew focused mainly on invasive species management. Many species are beginning to flower and it is crucial to take the plants out before they can disperse their seeds.

Wednesday, the crew spent the morning at the Hamline-Midway rain garden cleaning debris, cutting volunteer trees, and taking out invasives such as burdock, pennycress, thistle, and curly dock. Invasives aren’t the only thing blossoming though!  The highbush cranberry is in full bloom competing with the columbine's showy beauty.

Wednesday afternoon the crew relocated to Como Lake continuing in their effort to control invasives. The crew spent time working on identification of different species of plants around the lake and were amazed at the diversity that exists in such a small area.

The quest against invasives continued Thursday with the Youth Outdoors crews. They worked at Mounds Park pulling garlic mustard to prevent it from seeding out and distributing seed in great quantity. Each plant produces hundreds of seeds which are spread by water, the fur of animals, and by humans.

Newly hatched snapping turtle
Saturday, the crew was back at Como Lake working the shoreline for invasives. They focused mainly on pennycress, shepard’s purse, and curly dock for the day and pulled out most of it. While working, the crew saw a variety of wildlife, ranging from a baby snapping turtle to a nest of newly hatched red winged black birds. A reminder to keep your eyes peeled when you’re out and about, you never what you may come across!