Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Riparian Restoration Work Day
Northeast Region, November 24, 2013
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Scout Leaders Steve Dely and Cindy VanCarpels working with Scout Troup 153
Scout Leaders Steve Dely and Cindy VanCarpels working with Scout Troup 153 - Photo Credit: USFWS

On Sunday November 24, a group of volunteers from Wantage NJ Boy Scout Troupe 153 along with 2 students from High Point Regional High School who were performing part of their required community service project for graduation took part in a tree planting party. We were working near the Wallkill River in a field that had once been used for farming purposes and is now dominated by non native reed canary grass. The refuge's  Comprehensive Conservation Plan calls for reforestation of the riverbank where appropriate and this arera is particularly in need of restoration. The reed canary grass provides very little wild life value. We planted silver maple, American sycamore, boxelder, swamp white oak, green ash and a variety of willow shrubs - a total of 94 in all. These trees and shrubs were grown on site at the refuge where we have a small greenhouse and nursery. Seeds and clippings were gathered at locations around the refuge. In order to give them as much advantage as possible, some are grown for at least one season, more often two, so they will be tall enough to be above the reed canary grass. Most of these are fast growing species and have a better chance of surviving. Follow up monitoring of this site will be done by refuge staff in the spring.

Contact Info: Ken Witkowski, 973-702-7266 ext. 14, kenneth_witkowski@fws.gov
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