Friday, August 24, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: August 21-24th

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

Como Raingarden maintenance
We started the week by finishing off prepping the rain gardens for the Minnesota State Fair. They looked really good, and the additional signage should encourage citizens to pursue them in their own communities.

Later in the week, we continued the fight against invasive species. We focused efforts on two sites: Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom, or CWOC, and Pickerel Lake at Lilydale Regional Park. We started the year at CWOC working against smaller herbaceous plants like burdock and garlic mustard, and we've seen a big improvement in those areas and their season is nearly done. We moved onto clearing out some larger trees and shrubs, targeting the invasive buckthorn. This is a  very fast growing, aggressive. We removed buckthorn and thinned out unwanted boxelder trees to encourage biodiversity. The areas looked a lot healthier when we were done.

Clipping seed heads of purple loosestrife
At Pickerel Lake, we worked on clipping seed heads from an invasive species called Purple Loosestrife. Although it produces a pretty magenta flower, it has begun spreading through the prairie that borders that lake. Purple loosestrife is extremely aggressive and doesn’t provide high quality habitat and nutrition for wildlife like our native species of plants do. We're working to control invasives and maintain the native biodiversity of this beautiful prairie.

Don't forget to check out these sites in person: