Thursday, June 10, 2010

Visit to Chester Spring Marsh

This week, we visited Chester Spring Marsh, which is about a 20 minute walk from Riverdale Park.  It has been decided that our team would visit the site a few times this season as it hasn't had a regular stewardship team working there since 2004.  Consequently, it's very dense and was left to its own device, so there is a lot of maintenance work needed.

After going through a wooded path, we emerge on a beach right on the Don river.
We didn't waste any time and started pulling an incredible amount of invasives. 
We had 3 piles like this one of all the stuff we pulled including garlic mustard, stinging nettle, burdock and dame's rocket.

I also noticed quite a bit of Japanese knotweed, another highly invasive species in the valley because of its rapid growth and height.  The Global Invasive Species Database has listed it as one of the World's 100 Worst Invasive Alien Species. According to an article in Wikipedia about Japanese Knotweed "The invasive root system and strong growth can damage foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites." There is also an interesting video posted a few years ago on Don Watcher's blog.

Manitoba Maple. 
We managed to clear quite a large patch of these seedlings which have had a field day on this site in the last few years.

My co-leader Christine.  She is not the one who damaged that tree, none of our tools would have such a devastating effect on a tree.  It was of course the work of beavers.  Amazingly, the tree is still alive.

Lots of burdock and it's getting pretty big everywhere on the site.
I took this picture which shows a tree that's almost completely flattened in the ground, I don't recall ever seeing something like that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Some maintenance work

This week, we got busy cutting invasives and other vegetation around planted native species in order to give the natives some room to grow.  
 Recently planted trees and bushes such as Silver Maple and Dogwood need a little help when non native species start to grow around them. 

 The pond was pretty dry earlier this week but we've had quite a bit of rain in the last couple of days so I'm looking forward to see some water in there next week.

There are more Blue Flag irises at this site than I've seen in other parts of the Don.

We also did some mulching around the native plants to provide them with some moisture.  It was a hot night so we always make sure to drink lots of water.