After a delay from its originally scheduled date due to snow and ice on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the GSWA stewardship staff held the final community stewardship workday of the year on December 8th at our 73-acre Conservation Management Area (CMA). With some remnant snow and ice still lingering, 14 hardy volunteers helped clear and create a teaching area near the Helen Fenske vernal pool on the orange trail at the cul-de-sac end of the CMA.
We now use the property much more for teaching over 2,900 children annually. Because of this, we need places for students to gather during programs and field trips where they are not spread out along our trails and are able to gather, listen, and share.
Volunteers removed invasive species, raked the area, edged it, and began the laborious process of covering the area with wood chips to ensure it stays weed free during the growing season. They created brush piles with the cut stems of the invasive plants, and created some large areas lined with cut logs, so that students can roll the logs to see what lives underneath them. Though we will take a break from officially sanctioned workdays at the property until the spring, we do encourage you to get out and hike the area. One of the best ways to maintain trails is to have people use them. The trail map is available for download at our website, and at the entrance to the trails themselves. Check out the many improvements we have made to the restoration and enjoyment for those hoping to recreate at the site this year.