With the help of the Allegheny Mountain School Fellows, The Highland Center has been making progress on the clean-up of the future Community Park site in Monterey. As the Phase I Fellows and I prepare for the 2014 Clean-Up #2, I reflect on the first clean-up day we had earlier this summer.
The are definitely some scrubby areas on the property and a majority of the scrub is made up of invasive plants including Autumn Olive, Silver Poplar, and Multiflora Rose. Otherwise the property has an intact native plant population, especially in the wetter areas where there are very, very few invasive specimens. One of the first things Donna Bedwell, Celia Rutt and I discussed with the Phase I and II Fellows on June 6 was what we were removing and the whys and hows of it all.
With the help of Michael Bedwell and his chainsaw we did remove a cluster of native green ash trees that were beginning to encroach on the historic Confederate Cemetery on the site.
Once we had made some headway on the ash trees, we turned our focus to Autumn Olives and Multiflora Roses. Because we were not using any herbicide that day and we didn’t want the Autumn Olives to regrow with a vengeance, we dug up the plants by the roots rather than cutting them down. Nick (a 2014 Phase I Fellow) and I really worked at one small patch of them near the edge of the cemetery; one in particular was not that big above ground but had an impressive rootball on it!
While there is still plenty of scrub to remove and The Highland Center looks forward to having the help of the Allegheny Mountain School Fellows as we work on this project, we were very proud of what we accomplished on June 6th and look forward to see what we can get done on Tuesday, September 2nd!