Saturday, September 8, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: September 4-8th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Tuesday 9/4
Today was the start of a new semester of the Conservation Corps' “Youth Outdoors” program. This is a program (similar to Saint Paul Parks’ summer “EcoRanger” program) where high-school aged youth from the community work with us for 12 weeks all around Saint Paul to improve our natural resources and receive some environmental education from their crew leaders. We welcomed the new youth to our program and went over our work policies with them.

Wednesday 9/5
On Wednesday, we continued clearing the ground for the new trail system in Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC). We cut all wood and herbaceous plant material which will be hauled out to make room for large machinery to go through and further prepare the future trails for public use. Later in the day, we removed invasive trees including buckthorn, mulberry, box elder, honeysuckle, and black locust from the oak woodland north of the conifer site and then in the conifer site of CWOC.

Thursday 9/6
Thursday, all of the Saint Paul Youth Outdoors crews went to CWOC where they received a tour of the classroom from Saint Paul Parks staff and a quick overview of some of the work they will be performing here in the next 11 weeks. We showed them techniques for properly hauling and stacking brush to create good piles that will be easy for Saint Paul’s Forestry division to pick up.

Friday 9/7
Friday morning, we spent a few hours collecting seeds from hackberry, basswood, and black walnut trees in different areas of Saint Paul. These seeds will eventually be used to help restore the Floodplain Forest at Crosby Farm Regional Park. The grant supporting this project is a Conservation Partner's Legacy grant. Later in the day we returned to CWOC to continue removing buckthorn and other unwanted trees from the oak woodland site.

Saturday 9/8

Collecting prairie grass seeds at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

Two of the Youth Outdoors crews went to CWOC to haul brush from the cut paths.  We also harvested some jack-in-the-pulpit seeds and sedges from the future trails. These are high quality, native plants which is why we are taking the time to relocate dig them up and replant them in places where they won’t be in the path of the heavy machinery that would destroy them. The other two crews Youth Outdoors crews went to Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to collect prairie grass seeds which will be spread in the nearby Mounds Park prairies which aren’t quite as well established as Bruce Vento.