volunteer

Growing up in Carolin's Grove

Volunteers are invited to join our work sessions in both September and October in Carolin’s Grove, where we are working to restore forest to about an acre of storm-damaged woods.  On September 9, we will work from 10am to noon to clear areas of invasive Japanese stilt grass to prepare them for planting.  On October 14, we will plant grass seed and wildflowers in sunlit gaps to support pollinators and other animals during the transition back to forest.  Come back, if you have volunteered here before, and be amazed at what’s growing up in Carolin’s Grove now!

Carolin's Grove 2012

Carolin's Grove 2015 tree clearing (12)IMG_20170530_133756459IMG_20170801_114040890

Fall Planting in Carolin's Grove

Volunteers of all ages are invited to join us for a fall planting session in the reforestation area at Carolin’s Grove.  We plan to meet at 10am in the parking lot on Stone Hill Road, just west of the Pound Ridge Library, and to work until noon.  Please bring a shovel if you have one.  We will have some to share.  Participants will spread seed or plant wildflowers and saplings grown in our native nursery at the Armstrong Preserve, and can learn how to choose and grow native plants for their own properties.

PRLC’s Land Steward and Educator, Krista Munger, will be on-hand to guide planters and to answer questions.  If you can’t make the work session but would like to help with native plant restoration in Pound Ridge, contact Krista at landsteward@prlc.net or call 914-205-3533.  Many thanks to our volunteers who planted this Spring – the results are outstanding!

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Trail improvements at Richards Preserve

IMG_20170401_114905140Ten 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.

 

Volunteers Dig in at Clark Preserve

IMG_20170304_102810773_HDRFive new student volunteers stayed warm by working hard at our first Saturday Volunteer Work Session of the year last week at the Clark Preserve.  We worked together to clear Japanese barberry and other invasive plant species from an area near the entrance to the preserve, on Autumn Ridge Road in Pound Ridge. The students were able to draw connections between what they saw and learned about in the forest, and what they have in their yards at home.  They asked important questions: “how did invasive species get here?” (They were brought in by nurseries for sale as landscaping plants, in many cases.)  And, the kids want to know what is edible, trying out garlic mustard and onion grass and black birch.  We talked about making syrup from Sugar maples, and how you can know you are looking at a maple even at this time of year (by the buds and pattern of branching).  Curiosity flows freely in the outdoors.

We are grateful for the assistance of volunteers in maintaining the health of this seventy acre forest, and we look forward to spending more time out on the land this season.  Join for our next Saturday Volunteer Work Session on April 1 at Richard’s Preserve on Honey Hollow Road, 10am to noon.  We will be making improvements to the entrance to the preserve including installation of a water bar to direct road runoff out of the trail.  Please bring a shovel if you have one, and wear long sleeves and pants for protection from thorns.

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Announcing PRLC's Summer 2017 Internship Openings

PRLC is pleased to announce two paid internships available in Summer 2017.  We seek to provide a direct hands-on learning experience in nature preservation to two college students in the Environmental Studies or a similar field of study.  Our interns participate in trail maintenance, habitat protection, and scientific research projects.  They also act as tour guides to work sites, document and develop site plans, and present a summary of their work to the local community at season’s end.

This year, we offer internships in Preserve Stewardship and Environmental Restoration.  The Preserve Stewardship Intern will range across our eight preserves with trails and will visit other sites protected for their conservation value.  The Environmental Restoration Intern will help us to grow native plant stock in our home nursery at the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center and to plant and maintain restoration areas at select PRLC preserves, including Halle Ravine, Carolin’s Grove, and Clark Preserves.  We also welcome high school students who have the opportunity to volunteer as interns during the last month of their senior year.  Please see our Internships page for more information and instructions on how to apply.

Be Inspired: Citizen Science and Volunteer Forum

Seren at OverlookThe Pound Ridge Land Conservancy invites nature lovers of all ages to attend our Citizen Science and Volunteer Forum on February 26, 6pm, at the Armstrong Preserve and Education Center in Pound Ridge.  Discover opportunities to help land managers and scientists using your phone, camera, laptop, or simple tools.  Find an internship or volunteer position with the PRLC or one of our partners.  Our guest speakers will inspire you to become involved and join with others to make a difference in the world.  

This year, we feature Akiko Busch, author of The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science.  Ms. Busch is a Hudson Valley resident who conveys a deep sense of place in her writing.  She will read an excerpt from her book and discuss the crucial role that volunteers play in maintaining our ecosystems.  

We will also hear from local scientists and project directors, including Shaun McCoshum and Carolyn Sears.  Dr. McCoshum currently works for the Westchester Land Trust as the Preserve Manager and Educator. He has earned a PhD in Zoology and is an active citizen scientist and formal researcher who uses data from Citizen Science programs.  Dr. Sears is a former educator and co-founder of The Invasives Project – Pound Ridge.  She will describe plans for a community volunteer effort to use goats to manage Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant species.

Participation is free although prior registration is suggested.  Please contact Krista at landsteward.educator@prlc.net or 914-205-3533 to register and to receive a digital copy of the Environmentalist’s Guide to Local Volunteer Resources and Citizen Science Projects.

Spring Calendar of Guided Hikes at PRLC Preserves

Russell hikersWelcome and Happy New Year!  We are looking forward to this year’s suite of guided hikes with PRLC’s Land Steward & Educator, Krista Munger.  First we will go to the Clark Preserve for a winter wildlife identification walk on January 28 (See Link).  Conditions may be right for snowshoeing, but don’t be concerned if you don’t have them – several of us will walk ahead and pack down the trail for you.  On March 26, we will search for early signs of spring at Halle Ravine Preserve and hope to see frogs, toads, and salamanders emerging under the green ferns and mosses.  Practice identification of trees by their bark, buds, and branching on both excursions.  Our focus on May 21 is wildflower identification in the Armstrong Preserve’s outdoor classrooms, including the Working Backyard where we grow native trees, shrubs, and plants for use in restoration projects in our preserves.  Bird migration will be in full swing and the vernal pool should be full of frogs, so bring binoculars and plan to spend the afternoon exploring whatever interests you most in nature.  There may even be morel mushrooms!

To receive a reminder ahead of each of these events, please join our mailing list.  We will send you an email about once per month.  We also have a series of volunteer work dates scheduled for the Spring beginning on March 4 at Clark Preserve.  Please see our events calendar for other dates, and email Krista at landsteward.educator@prlc.net for more information and to sign up for email reminders on volunteering opportunities.  You can like us on Facebook too!

Volunteers Remove Old Bridges from Halle Ravine

Sixteen people attended our end-of-year Saturday morning work session at Halle Ravine and helped to remove old bridges from deep in the Preserve.  Students and seniors, mothers, and dads all carried out boards and even one entire bridge, as shown in this video.  Together we are stronger!  We leave the forest, stream, and trails in better shape after much work in Halle Ravine in 2016.   Projects are ongoing to control invasive species around the pond, with planting planned for this Spring.  We also plan to replace the decking on one or more bridges next year.  Be in touch to lend a hand!

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Halle Ravine Volunteer Projects

img_20161001_111157107 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.

 

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These projects were supported by funding from the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Partnership Program and by private donors.