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 have been removed and invasive multiflora rose bushes have been mowed. In 2017, a pesticide free, neonicotinoid herbicide was applied to minimize exotic, non-native plants without disturbing the soil.
In the fall of 2018, we began addressing potential erosion issues in many ways. We began seeding the meadow with winter rye to help stabilize the soil to minimize erosion and started installing mulch socks to keep the soil from eroding off the site. In early January, we applied straw mulch to the entire site.
By the spring of 2019, the meadow will be seeded with a mix of seeds derived from local germplasm. We may conduct some plug planting, especially in challenging locations, in the upcoming year as well.
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 will need to be conducted through manual pulling at this point due to proximity to 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.