Friday, August 17, 2012

Conservation Corps Update, August 14th-17th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Pickerel Lake
The Youth Outdoors crew 2 saw a variety of work during the third week of August. It began around Pickerel Lake in south St. Paul sweeping for invasive species such as purple loosestrife, burdock, spotted knapweed, and thistle, among others. These invasive species in particular are beginning to throw their seeds and the crew is working to collect and dispose of those seeds before that occurs.

The crew spent a bit of time in Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) in preparation for future volunteer planting events that are scheduled for later this August.

Como Lake Shore received some of that planting this week by the crew restoring some grasses, forbs, and sedges along the south west shore. The plants were all plugs, or young specimens in individual cells ready for planting, so they are a little less obvious to the untrained eye. In a few years, the hope is to have a lush shoreline with a variety of species.

Working in the raingarden
The crew worked around and in Lake Phalen collecting shoreline trash and other debris. Lake users should notice a considerable difference and will hopefully find the clean shoreline aesthetically appealing. The rain garden just north of the boat house received some attention from the crew as well. They took out invasive species, pruned out suckers and volunteer trees, and thinned a beautiful, but aggressive native: golden rod.
With the State Fair quickly approaching, the crew spent the final day of their week preparing Como area rain gardens for the crowds. The crew worked at cutting out any dead or dieing summer plants, thinned aggressive species, edged the beds, and put up protective fencing. If you are in the area, take time to appreciate the beautiful autumn blossoms, there is still a ton of variety!