Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Accomplishments

Post contributed by Saint Paul Parks Natural Resources staff:

2012 was a very successful year filled with a lot of hard work, fun volunteer events, and many improvements to our Saint Paul's natural areas!

With the help of our committed partner organizations, community volunteers, grantors and sponsors, Saint Paul Parks Natural Resources was able to accomplish a great deal this year. Below you will find a summary of our 2012 accomplishments.
  • Logged 11,282 volunteer hours (4342 volunteers), equivalent to 5.42 full-time employees.

  • In coordination with partnering organizations, Environmental Services administered approximately $960,084 in grants and donations, including $60,000 of in-kind professional labor to maintain natural areas in Saint Paul.

  • Provided employment and education for 25 Youth Job Corps members in the Eco-Ranger program curriculum and directed another 60 youth in the Youth Outdoors program, in partnership with the Conservation Corps Minnesota.

  • Planted approximately 7,300 trees and shrubs, 20,000 native grasses and flowers and 68,000 floodplain tree seeds.

  • Installed approximately 1 mile of nature trails at Highwood Nature Preserve and Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.

Many of the projects completed within Saint Paul's natural areas this year would not have been possible without the funding and donations provided by the following grantors: Conservation Partners Legacy, Saint Paul Garden Club, Ramsey Conservation District, Capitol Region Watershed District, Saint Paul Foundation, Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, Urban Bird Treaty, Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, Clean Water Legacy, Friends of the Mississippi RiverXcel Foundation, Saint Paul Conservancy, REI, and Met Council.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Conservation Corps Update: December 3rd-6th

Post contributed by Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors Crew 2:

Piling brush to be burned

Planting seeds at Crosby

Our last full week working with Saint Paul Parks! It started out warm but this seemed to be the week that winter really settled in for good. We started the week on Monday by hauling brush into piles throughout Crosby Farm Regional Park, which will be burned this winter. This method causes less site disturbance than trying to remove the brush from the park by truck. We started Tuesday by removing a few larger buckthorn from the bluff above the native ephemeral zone in Crosby, and then finished up the hauling project. On Wednesday morning, we seeded the area that we had cleared with oak, basswood and hackberry seeds. It will be interesting to see this area change! In the afternoon we headed to Lake Phalen, where we began a project doing a restoration on an oak savannah that is between Lake Phalen and Round Lake. There are some beautiful Bur Oak trees in the area that we tried to free from encroaching Siberian Elm, Box Elder, and Green Ash. In the spring, the area will be seeded and/or burned, depending on what kind of plants are already present. This is part of an ongoing Lake Phalen restoration that has been incredibly successful. Go check it out!

If you want more information on any of the species here, check out the DNR's list of Minnesota native trees & shrubs.