Saturday, May 5, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: May 1st-5th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps of Minnesota, Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Youth Outdoors crews getting mulch for the newly planted trees and shrubs along Hamline Avenue.
Mulch helps these plants maintain moisture and it also reduces the growth of unwanted plants that would compete with our new trees and shrubs for water and nutrients.

It has been another busy week for the Conservation Corps crew.  We started off the week on Wednesday battling more garlic mustard in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC).  Volunteers from Great River School joined us for an afternoon of hand pulling in the ephemeral wetland zone.  They were able to knock out a big portion of the remainin garlic mustard, what a great help! 

Thank you to the volunteers who came out to
Hamline Avenue on Saturday! We hope you had a great time!

The rest of the week, we focused on planting trees in areas where we have recently done a significant amount of invasive removal--along the Mississippi River Boulevard (MRB), part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.  We have been working steadily to plant 5,000 saplings along a 2 mile stretch of the river to restore an oak woodland landscape along the edges of the Mississippi River.  The trees that we have been planting this week include bur oak, red oak, bitternut hickory, and other species native to the area.  We had help from some wonderful volunteer groups including seventh graders from Hill-Murray School who planted over 900 trees, and a seven person team from US Bank who joined us on Friday.  Wednesday and Saturday we worked with our Youth Outdoors crews at both MRB, and behind the Como Zoo along Hamline Avenue, planting and mulching before the thunderstorms came late in our workday on Saturday.  Before the rain came, we had over 50 community volunteers helping out with planting the trees and shrubs along Hamline Avenue.  All the rain this week was helpful though, making the soil a bit easier to dig into and providing nice moist ground for all of our young plants. 

The Conservation Corps busy trimming roots of
the saplings before planting them at MRB.

Volunteering is fun for the whole family!
Look for more volunteer opportunites
with Saint Paul Parks here.