Our new Graduate Research Fellow, Josh Moody! Josh is a graduate student at Rutgers University and is studying the relationship between ribbed mussel density and salt marsh shoreline erosion.
He’ll be collecting data along the St Jones this season as part of his research – be sure to say Hi if you seen him around!
After arriving back at the Estuary from our exciting spring breaks – some of the AmeriCorps NCCC team traveled to Virginia while others went to Washington DC, Connecticut, and north to Wilmington – the team was ready to start working again.
On Tuesday, Wolf 3 got WET and WILD. In other words, we were trained by Jen in the art of teaching children about water conservation and other water-related issues. Especially satisfying was the opportunity to pretend that we were in 4th grade again (even though it didn’t take much effort). With the skills we learned, the team is now ready to help children at the reserve learn about water issues in fun and engaging ways!
We worked again with Carl Solberg on Wednesday from County Parks, this time rejuvenating a small 16-acre protected wildlife area behind the Irish Hills housing subdivision. We removed invasive species, cleaned up trash, and planted an initial batch of new trees.
On Thursday we found ourselves back at Blackbird, preparing for the 800 trees we would be planting on Saturday. This involved digging holes, and flagging the specific spot for each tree (800 flags). Meaghan actually placed every single flag: Good job, Meaghan!
Friday we returned to Irish Hill to, you guessed it, plant trees. By the end of the day, we’d successfully planted around 75 young trees in the protected area and another 300 seedlings at the other end of the subdivision. It was a long, hot day but very satisfying not only because Carl bought us cold lemonade but also because the area was in desperate need of some trees. The birds were singing songs of happiness even before the trees were all the way in the ground!
Saturday was the big event: a tree planting extravaganza with over 20 volunteers (boys scouts and AmeriCorps NCCC, as well as some locals) that successfully planted all 800 trees before noon. Efficient is an understatement!
-Wolf 3, AmeriCorps NCCC
Our first activity of the work week: yep, that’s right, a boat trip down the St. Jones river all the way to Bowers Beach and back. The boat was in the capable hands of Wes Conley. Kate sat up front and taught us about the river erosion, the duck blinds, and other environmental issues facing the river and the reserve. The weather was beautiful and sunny – it was a great day for a boat ride.
Tuesday, we drove north to Blackbird and planted 40 trees behind the office building and created a brick-lined garden with Wes & Jim.
Wednesday was another big project as we returned to the Blackbird campground in order to chip up a ton of trees that fell from the snow this winter. Matt and John started salivating at the sight of the chipper and its gigantic rotating jaws. By nightfall, about 5 or 6 truckloads of mulch had been removed.
Thursday the team split up – half of us stayed at the Reserve and the rest of the team traveled to Blackbird. Those up north cleaned up a pile of leftover junk from the campground (that included barbed wire, sinks, an old coke machine, pieces of steel, etc. – over 1 ton of junk!) while the rest of the team spread the previous day’s mulch at the St. Jones reserve.
And then, before we knew it – SPRING BREAK!
-Wolf 3, AmeriCorps NCCC
Interested in meeting and learning firsthand from a select and diverse group of experts and stakeholders offering a wealth of knowledge and experience with the issues?
The Green Eggs & Sand team is offering two full weekend workshops along the Atlantic Coast for Spring of 2010.
Participants take home middle/high school-targeted, national-standards-keyed, videos-and-activity rich, GE&S curriculum package.
Be sure to sign up – find out more information here.