Special Habitat Areas
In July 2016, a microburst down draft generated by a thunderstorm toppled trees and opened a hole in the canopy of an acre-sized parcel at Aquetong and River roads. By allowing adequate sunlight, this canopy opening has created a great opportunity for us to expand our meadow—which we plan to develop and complete by 2021.
Clearing the area began in late 2016. Tree debris has been removed and invasive multiflora rose bushes have been mowed. During 2017, herbicide will be applied to minimize exotic, non-native plants without disturbing the soil.
During the spring of 2018, the Preserve plans to conduct a controlled burn—a complex and highly regulated process designed to ensure that the fire is effective, contained and doesn’t generate too much smoke. The goal of the burn is to further eliminate invasive, non-native plants, return nutrients to the soil and open up the soil for seed germination. Later that spring, we will seed the meadow with a mix of seeds derived from local germ plasm. We also may conduct some plug planting, especially in challenging locations, during fall 2018.
Throughout the five-year opening phase of the project, constant vigilance against exotic competitors will be necessary. Removing unwanted plants will become more difficult and be conducted much more through manual pulling at this point owing to proximity of newly-added. natives.
Our goal is to have a fully functioning new meadow—with both wet and dry areas to maximize the potential for plant diversity and striking visual displays—by 2021.