2005 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form
PROJECT BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Monitoring and control of common reed (Phragmites australis) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Nulhegan Basin Division of the Silvio O. Conte Nat
Name and Phone Number
Holly Gaboriault (802)962-5240
(Up to 250 words)
When the Nulhegan Basin Division was originally established in 1999, it was noted by surveyors that the number of invasive and exotic plant species was remarkably low, even in floodplain natural communities. Fifteen small populations of common reed and a single plant of common buckthorn were documented in or directly adjacent to the Refuge. Since the first surveys, we have documented several other small populations of invasives of special concern such as Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). An eradication project in this area will not only be more cost effective by treating species early in the invasion process, but also be more proactive combating species before they become established and spread. Our partners are taking an active role in invasives monitoring and control on lands surrounding the Refuge and together we can begin to eradicate the small populations that exist on or near the Refuge.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:
(Check all that apply)
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
A volunteer assisted Refuge staff in control efforts for all invasive plant populations located on Refuge lands. Information compiled in the past regarding invasive plant locations was used to relocate, remap, and then cut and spray each site. In this project we focused on control efforts through both mechanical and chemical means, however; continued mapping was also a priority in order to monitor our control efforts and continue using only what is most effective. Control methods included the volunteer manually (hand pulling) and chemically controlling all locations with the chemical Round-up.
Total Number of Volunteers:
Total Number of Volunteer Hours:
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
A contact at Southern Vermont College suggested a very capable undergraduate student for this project. Our continued partnership with the College has allowed them to use the Refuge as an outdoor classroom and has allowed us to provide quality work experience for some of their students. The Refuge has a cooperative agreement with the Northwoods Stewardship Center (NWSC)to provide a youth corps to the Refuge each summer. Even though the timing of the corps does not correspond with invasive plant removal, we have been able to work with other members of the NWSC staff to begin the Northeast Kingdom Invasive Species Initiative (NEKISI). One of the goals of the NEKISI is to share data and to share information on control efforts and methods. By partnering with neighboring landowners and organizations like the NWSC, we can collaborate on future efforts involving invaisive species control and how to prevent further invasions in this area.
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).
Refuge land in the Northeast corner of Vermont is relatively untouched by invasive plants. Approximately 10 small patches of less than 100 plants have been found on the entire 26,000 Nulhegan Basin Division. During this summers invasive plant work, only a handful of additional sites were located. All were very small in size with usually just a few plants each. Using money from this grant, we were able to entend the time our summer intern/volunteer worked on the Refuge. For two weeks, he re-mapped all current locations of Phragmites and Japanese Knotweed. Once mapped, he used Roundup and a cut stump treatment to cut each plant and spray the chemical into the stalk. With Japanese Knotweed (which is very easily spread by fragments of the plant), each plant that was cut was bagged in trash bags and transported to a barn with a concrete floor to allow to decomposing before disposal. In summer of 2006, we will be able to monitor the effectiveness of this control effort since the volunteer was able to apply this technique to all locations of Phragmites and Japanese Knotweed on Refuge lands. The results we gather from our summer 2005 work will also be distributed to our local partners to assist in their control efforts. Our goal is very similar to most other organizations in this area that are concerned with invasive plants. The common goal is to prevent further spread of invasives into this area and keep the rare natural communities from entering the early stages of invasion.
Number of Acres Treated:
Approximately 1 acre
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped:
Approximately 1 acre
Number of Acres Restored:
Approximately 1 acre (unless regrowth occurs next
Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.
Total Grant Amount:
Breakdown of Expenditures:
Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This project/grant was very useful in meeting refuge invasive species objectives. The volunteer was able to cut and spray all patches of invasive plants during the project. Because the amount of the grant was small, we were only able to hire an undergraduate intern to conduct the work. The time of year that it is best to control these invasives is also the time of year that undergraduates are returning to school. We were still able to complete the project, but this could have been a limitation for those refuges with a greater acreage of invasive cover or for those with no formal friends/volunteer group. It if weren't for this grant; however, this project would not have been accomplished due to the time and effort investment.
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