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2005 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Invasive Plant Control at Two Early Successional H
Region: 5
Station: Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Sharon Ware, 401-847-5511 or Suzanne Paton 401-36
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
This project supports ongoing invasive plant control on two National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island. At Sachuest Point NWR, restoration of a 35 acre grassland involved volunteer interns in the control and monitoring of several invasive species. Restoration of this site was initiated in 2002 and focused on control of oriental bittersweet which dominated the site. This year control was expanded to target additional invasive species, and included hand pulling, select herbicide use, and mowing. Interns and volunteers monitored established vegetation plots, conducted bird surveys, provided outreach, searched for and mapped new invasion sites, and planted native grasses. At Ninigret NWR, control of oriental bittersweet was initiated in 2004, following an extensive mapping effort completed in 2003. During 2005, we continued the bittersweet control while expanding control into the adjacent rare plant site. Less than one acre in size, this site sustains one of the largest populations of yellow fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) in New England, as well as six other state listed rare plants. The sensitive nature of this site requires more labor intensive means of control including hand pulling and cut stump treatments. Refuge volunteers, a graduate intern, and a URI undergraduate assisted with design and monitoring of mechanical and prescribed burn treatments at this site. Volunteers will also assist with hand pulling and selective herbicide treatments which will continue into FY 2006.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Oriental Bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus
Black Knapweed Centaurea nigra
Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata
Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata
Black Swallowwort Cynanchum louiseae
Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
Japanese Knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum
Morrows Honeysuckle Lonicera morrowii
Burning Bush Euonymus alatus
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp             VA_GradIntern                    VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteers have been involved in most every aspect of this project including surveying, control, monitoring, and outreach. Specific accomplishments thus far include, Sachuest Point NWR: -handpulling of garlic mustard, black swallowwort, purple loosestrife, black knapweed, and an unknown non-native rose encroaching on a rare yellow thistle site -Herbicide spot treatments for oriental bittersweet, black knapweed, and black swallowwort -monitoring vegetation response in 15 acre study area, and establishing 5 new plots for monitoring garlic mustard control -GPS mapping of treated areas -hand seeding with warm season grasses -conducting landbird breeding surveys in study areas and spot mapping bird use of the grassland -providing invasive species information to visitors Ninigret NWR: -constructing fire exclosures for prescribed burn at the rare plant site -establishing experimental design for rare plant site mechanical and burn treatments -establishing vegetation survey plots and collecting data on species composition and percent cover in cut and burned plots throughout the summer -cut and stump treatment of Autumn Olive
Total Number of Volunteers: 21
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 784
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
*Friends of the NWR of Rhode Island *Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) *National Park Service (NPS) *University of Rhode Island (URI)


Project Results:
Give an overview of the results of the project. Include quantifiable measure of success, such as maps produced, efficacy of control measures, number of sites where invasions were detected early and responded to, number of community contacts, etc. (Up to 250 words).
Project Progress Report: At Sachuest Point NWR the volunteer interns received training in invasive plant identification this year and systematically surveyed refuge lands. They detected recent invasions and colinization of new sites for four species. As a result, we successfully pulled up a patch of purple loosestrife that had never been documented before. We also initiated treatment of japanese knotweed, black swallowwort, and garlic mustard. This was a good example of how early detection and rapid response can work when the resources are available. We also continued our fourth year of oriental bittersweet and knapweed control with the use of mechanical and chemical treatments. A total of 35 acres received some type of treatment and two small sites were seeded with warm season grasses (1 acre). Preliminary analysis of the Sachuest data demonstrates significantly reduced bittersweet stem counts in treated fields since the project began (9.4 stems / plot in 2002 vs. 1.2 stems / plot in 2005; p < 0.05). However, stem densities did not decrease in all fields between 2004-2005. This will need to be reviewed further to determine if adaptive management is required to control the remaining plants in this field. At the Ninigret rare plant site, four new experimental sectors were added adjacent to the core of the site. Fifteen experimental plots were created in each sector to monitor the effects of four randomly assigned treatments. Treatments included a burn only, cut and burn, cut only, and control. An experimental burn was conducted in late April, and species composition and density was collected in all plots throughout the growing season. Preliminary data suggests an increase in the number of bittersweet stems in the cut only sector, but not in the sector that also received a burn treatment. Data analysis has not been completed, and we plan to collect data during 2006 in the same plots to further evaluate the treatment effects. Additionally, we will be recruiting volunteers to continue with treatment and removal of invasive plants encroaching on the rare plant site in the spring and summer of 2006. Money from this grant has also been obligated to a contractor who will be using herbicide in areas surrounding the site to control the spread of oriental bittersweet. Outreach and Education primarily ocurred at Sachuest Point NWR where we receive more than 200,000 visitors annually. Volunteers led four guided walks and discussions of invasive species control, and assisted with a group tour of the project area with NRCS scientists. Additional community contact was achieved through: -Invasives article in the Friends of the NWR of RI newsletter -Refuge news releases regarding invasive plant control -a new poster with project results displayed in the visitors center -numerous informal interpretive opportunities on the trails and in the visitors center (open 6 days per week)
Number of Acres Treated: 37
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 37
Number of Acres Restored: 0


Budget: Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.

Total Grant Amount:

$ 9000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 133.49 1.5
Chemical 1260.13 14
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends 4900 54.4
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials 159.6 1.8
Other 2520 28
TOTAL 8973.22 99.7

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?


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