Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Service in the Preserves

 Columbus Audubon's  Katryn Renard  has been organizing service trips to Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves for many, many years.  She knows that the best trips are a combination of good works...

Katryn peeks through a tree's unusual root growth
 and having a little fun.

 Last Saturday things were looking up at Fowler Woods, just north of Mansfield.  It is a wet woods best known for its exceptional spring wildflower display.

The boardwalk, essential for access to this wet woods,  is in need of repair. Columbus Audubon was able and willing to help
Ryan Schroeder and Mike Grody of Natural Areas and Preserves.
 The job was laid out by the pros, Ryan and Mike.  They supplied the goods for repairs and we followed their lead.

Team Mayham strikes a pose.
The guys did some phenomenal work, but you know this is a posed photo- in real life they would never let me use the crow-bar!

Carrying the slats.
Mostly we carried the slats to the repair locations, and enjoyed the wonderful morning in the woods.

Brown (DeKay's ) Snake
Like all "big kids," we had to interact with nature a bit and admire some of the local residents. This is a DeKay's snake, a species that feeds on small insects and invertebrates in decaying logs and leaf matter.

Egg masses injected into a Viburnum stem
 Unfortunately, I found evidence of Viburnum Leaf Beetle damage and their egg masses.  We are just on the cusp of this infestation and need to be proactive now.  A good first step is to remove and destroy these egg masses.

These service trips are a wonderful example of the hard work, science, and fun that can be accomplished by a team. Our Ohio State Nature Preserves need constant maintenance and attention.  Not only to the trails and boardwalks, but as importantly- they need constant monitoring and removal of invasive species.

Invasive plants, animals and even insects can damage and ultimately  destroy these areas that were set aside for their natural beauty and unique biodiversity.  These little time capsules need to be constantly managed to prevent successional growth which would change and destroy these habitats the state deemed worthy of protecting.

If you would like to join us on a work program and have a insiders look at some of Ohio's most biodiverse habitats, join  ONAPA today.

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