Saturday, May 12, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: May 9th-12th

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

Wednesday May 9th- planting at Hamline
Another wonderful day of planting native trees and shrubs at Hamline Avenue near Como Park. With beautiful weather, spirits were high as worked hard to get the plants in the ground so they can begin taking root at their new home.
Thursday May 10th- planting with youth
Youth Outdoors crew memebers planting trees at Hamline Ave
Phalen Recreation Center and Hazel Recreation Center Youth Outdoors crews teamed up to continue planting trees and shrubs at Hamline Avenue. The youth from Hazel started their work day out by working out some details for their youth led service project, working closely with a local library. Each youth crew is responsible for identifying an environmental issue in their community, researching about it, planning a service project to address the issue, and executing the service project. This is the culmination of their service term with the Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors program. It is a fun and exciting way for the youth to positively impact their community and learn valuable leadership and planning skills. Once they arrived at Hamline Avenue, they were ready to work. The two crews worked together to plant many trees.
Friday May 11th- Planting at Hamline
Youth Outdoors Crew 2 participated in one final day of planting trees at Hamline Aveune. As members of the Saint Paul Parks environmental team did a final sweep to remove all of the remaining buckthorn from the site, we followed behind using dibble bars to plant some small saplings in the newly cleared areas. Mulch was placed around all of the new trees and shrubs to help them maintain moisture and discourage weed growth.  We also put tree cages around some of the smaller "tastier" sapling to guard against small animals who enjoy consuming the newly planted trees. It is hard to believe that we are done planting along Hamline Avenue, but the transformation has been fun to watch and be a part of. It looks great! We've greatly increased the plant diversity, diminished the presence of invasive species, and created a more beautiful natural area for community members to enjoy!

Saturday May 12th- volunteer event Lilydale and Swede Hollow clean-up
Saturday began with a volunteer event with Great River Greening. Alongside this non-profit, in Cherokee Heights Regional Park, we removed many buckthorn trees and saplings. In certain areas of this removal project, there was buckthorn that was pre-cut and just had to be hauled out. In other areas, there were still buckthorn plants that were removed using a weed wrench. Many large buckthorn were removed to create a very large brush pile. This event lasted until lunch, which we enjoyed at the nearby Harriet Island Park. After lunch we went to Swede Hollow Park to remove invasive species. Burdock stalks and garlic mustard were removed as we begin to prepare this site to be planted in the near future.