In the 30 days between Arbor Day and Memorial Day, this year, 1,300 volunteers joined us to give forest flowers a fighting chance against buckthorn, create floating islands for the benefit of aquatic wildlife, and create more pollinator habit in urban natural areas.
Working alongside these stewards, we are transforming degraded habitat into healthy, vibrant areas.
The secret to busting buckthorn: Don’t give up!
The students at Rosemount High School, and the surrounding community, have taken up the challenge to save Carroll’s Woods/Schwarz Pond Park – the school’s neighboring forest. The buckthorn in this 107-acre woodland is so established, “the plants are tree-like,” said GRG ecologist Becca Tucker.
At Katherine Abbott Park, a years-long effort is paying off. GRG began working with the city of Mahtomedi in 2014, to save 76 acres of woodland, prairie, and wetland. In that time 600 volunteers have joined us–100 just this spring, to cut and stack buckthorn.
Wiley Buck, a GRG ecologist, said that the volunteer effort, combined with prescribed burning, seeding, and planting, “has made a remarkable difference. Katherine Abbott was inundated with buckthorn and other woody invasive shrubs. Now, the lake views are beautiful and the whole park is a more fertile environment for native grasses, flowers, and young oaks.”
380 volunteers planted pollinator-friendly plants in Clearview Forest, Lebanon Hills Regional Park, South Washington Conservation Corridor, and Westwood Hills Nature Center
Funders and Partners in this article: FishAmerica Foundation, City of Saint Peter, CHS Foundation, Clif Bar Family Foundation, New Belgium Brewing, Rahr Corporation, Fréy Salon, City of Mahtomedi, Delwood Foundation, City of Rosemount, Dakota County’s Environmental Legacy Fund, Dakota Electric, South Washington Watershed District, Outdoor Heritage Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 3M Foundation, Andersen Corporate Foundation, St. Croix Valley Foundation, and General Mills Foundation.
PHOTOS: Sarah Schandle and Peter Myers