Saturday, October 13, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: October 9th-13th

Post contributed by Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

The first full week of October brought cooler working conditions for the crew. Never-the-less it was a week full of progress.
Installing biologs at Lake Como

Wednesday, the crew began at Como Lakeshore assessing the damage to the shoreline caused by foot traffic. There were a lot of problem spots and making note of them was the first step to finding solutions. By mid- morning biologs, which are being used to remediate shoreline erosion, were delivered and the crew began working on installing them along the north end of the lake. For the remainder of the day, the crew secured the logs, fenced in the area, and then did some live staking in hope to establish some roots to anchor the shore’s soil.

Thursday, we worked with out youth crews at Upper Landing Park next to the Mississippi and downtown St. Paul. The goal was to restore the mound features in the park which were overrun with invasive species. The peak of each mound represents the crest of a record flood of the Mississippi River. The crews cleared the weedy invasives out of each mound and completed the day by scattering native grass seeds over each mound and covering the two with the most disturbances with erosion fabric. Hopefully these desirable species will take hold of the areas where we did weed removal.

Restoring one of the mounds
at Upper Landing Park
Friday morning, the crew was back at Como returning to the survey that was started on Wednesday. We evaluated the extent of erosion and formulated a restoration plan to execute in the upcoming weeks. For the afternoon, we returned to the north end of the lake where we had installed the biologs and planted emergent plants.

Saturday’s forecast called for thunderstorms nearly all day, but it actually ended up being pretty idea work conditions. Both Youth Outdoor crews worked in the morning at Como, one planting on the north end again but this time moving outward from the shore to establish native prairie species. The other crew worked at felling larger undesirable trees into the lake as prime sunning spots for turtles. At noon, the crews relocated to assist in the volunteer event held at Lake Phalen in celebration of the Girls Scouts Centennial. The troops stuck it out through the mist and rain to rake leaves from many different areas. Two troops were especially helpful by raking leaves out of a shoreline planting to help prevent the leaves from suppressing the natives and hindering prescribed burning operations next spring.