Ten volunteers helped out at our April 1 work session held at the Richards Preserve. A team of four installed a water bar at the entrance to divert storm water from flowing into and eroding the trail system. Another team of four worked to create natural dams and obstructions that will capture sediment eroding from trails. Then, we all joined forces to remove Japanese barberry, an invasive shrub, from the entrance to the Preserve. We received grant funds from the Watershed Agricultural Council to clear barberry from one acre there this year. We also received funding from the Land Trust Alliance in support of our work to provide public access at Richards and to maintain the health of its habitats. Fortunately, the rest of this beautiful older-growth forest is free of invasives. Take the loop trail in either direction, and make sure to take in the reservoir view from the far end.
A dozen community members assisted in native plant restoration at Halle Ravine at our most recent Volunteer Work Session on October 1. A lively group of students, neighbors, town officials, and PRLC board members spent the morning working on and off trails in the north end of the Preserve and along the steep bank of the eastern side of the ravine. They cleared invasive weeds, planted a variety of native plants that will better support wildlife, and fenced valuable trees and shrubs from deer browse. Our aim is to encourage more shade cover in the Preserve to protect soils from erosion and drought and to provide for the needs of animals. Come out for a tour with us next summer and see the results!
We also completed the installation of a new staircase along the steepest section of trail in the Preserve. Help is still needed to carry out construction materials and begin bridge repairs, so please join us on Saturday November 5, 10am-noon to lend a hand.
These projects were supported by funding from the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Partnership Program and by private donors.