Thursday, November 29, 2012

Conservation Corps Updated: November 26th-29th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Hauling brush from Mississippi River Boulevard
The last week of November's fairly mild temperatures allowed our crew to accomplish a variety of projects. Monday, the crew worked in Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom loading and hauling out the "firewood" size chunks left behind from previous volunteer brush hauling efforts. This helps to improve the natural aesthetic of the area. CWOC users wandering through the classroom will notice fewer pieces of wood with saw cut ends littering the forest floor.
Continuing the theme of removing materials, the crew focused their efforts on Tuesday along the Mississippi River Boulevard. They scoured the stretch from Shadow Falls to the North Gate of Hidden Falls for brush that they worked at cutting in previous weeks. The ultimate goal is to provide the many desired saplings planted this spring ample space and sunlight to grow and develop into a mature upland forest.

Raking leaves at Lake Phalen
We've been fortunate that there isn’t much snow yet to slow us down on our projects, especially for raking leaves. Both Youth Outdoors crews concentrated their focus at Lake Phalen on Wednesday performing forest litter management in effort to diminish the leaf litter in the restored prairies and raingardens along the shoreline. Leaves form dense mats which suffocate the vegetation beneath preventing sprouting in the spring. The mats of leaves, in addition to suppressing resprouts, also make it difficult for much needed prescribed burns to move through the prairie in the spring.