Volunteers sought for Stewardship projects

Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association seeks volunteers to help care for the numerous public properties. Stewardship projects include invasive plant control, wildlife habitat improvement projects, trail clearing and maintenance, bridge building, boundary marking and annual monitoring. There are opportunities to learn new skills, spend time outdoors, and to see a variety of habitats in the area.

A group of volunteers recently helped with removal of Morrow’s honeysuckle on the Whitefield Salmon Preserve in Whitefield, a property that protects Atlantic salmon habitat on the Sheepscot River and West Branch, in addition to important upland wildlife habitats. Targeting invasive species prevents them from competing with native shrubs that provide more valuable wildlife foods and cover. Oriental bittersweet, Morrow’s honeysuckle and Japanese barberry are all found in limited amounts on the Preserve, and our stewardship crew helped keep the invasives at bay while tackling the task with humor and hard work, according to a SVCA news release.

Volunteers will work at Trout Brook Preserve in Alna at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, replacing a boardwalk and moving the kiosk to a new location. In August and September work is planned for wildlife habitat projects and erosion control at Trout Brook. Volunteers will work on cutting back trees and shrubs to keep small openings in the forest for song birds and woodcock. The site was historically a field and organizers work to maintain the early successional forest stage currently present. In addition to getting work done, volunteers can learn about wildlife habitat improvement techniques for their own properties, and resources for more information. As the group tackles erosion control, volunteers can learn about the importance of creating and maintaining riparian buffers.

The fall is SVCA’s monitoring season when staff and volunteers spread out on the landscape and check properties the organization owns or hold easements on looking for changes or disturbances. This is a once a year task but a wonderful opportunity to get out on the landscape and explore while helping SVCA staff.

For more information, contact SVCA’s Programs Manager Lynne Flaccus at l[email protected] or call 586-5616.


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