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2006 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Invasive Plant Mapping at Stewart B. McKinney NWR
Region: 5
Station: Stewart B. McKinney NWR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Richard Potvin, (860) 399-2513
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
The Stewart B. McKinney NWR is comprised of approximately 1,000 acres including 8 islands in the Long Island Sound and 3 mainland Units. This project will map invasive plants across the Refuge to help develop invasive plant control strategies. Maps for Chimon and Sheffield Island were completed in 2003 and a grant was received to map and control invasive plants at Calf Island. This "Working With Invasives" grant will help fund invasive mapping at the Refuge's mainland Units.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Japanese Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica
Japanese Knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum
Oriental Bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus
Multiflora Rose Rosa multiflora
Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata
Wineberry Rubus phoenicolasius
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Porcelainberry
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp                                 VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Refuge volunteers mapped invasive plants at the Salt Meadow Unit using a Trimble XT GPS Unit. The Friends of Outer Island were consulted with to explain the mapping process, target invasive plants, and a control strategy. The Calf Island Conservancy wrote a Long Island Sound Futures Fund (NFWF) grant to map and control invasives at Calf Island. The Sound School hand pulled invasive plants along the Salt Meadow Unit roadside.
Total Number of Volunteers: 21
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 234
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
New Partnerships: Two new student USFWS volunteers were recruited for the summer to help with the Refuge's biological program which included mapping invasive plants. An Environmental Careers Organization intern also assisted in this effort. Existing partnerships: Friends of Outer Island Calf Island Conservancy Sound School, New Haven CT


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).
This project enabled the Refuge to begin mapping the Refuge's largest forested Unit, the Salt Meadow Unit, for the first time. A Hurricane Antenna was purchased using Regional Survey funds for the Trimble XT to enable mapping within the canopy cover of the forest. Receiving satellite signals by the GPS is very difficult without this powerful antenna. Approximately 50% of the 324 acre Unit was mapped and herbicide was purchased to control early infestations of invasive plants. Several invasive plant species were commonly found in forest openings, including along roadsides, parking lots, fields, and forest edges, which is where this mapping effort was focused. Using the information collected, the Refuge can identify early infestations for early control and determine the complexity of controlling abundant species. 17 students and teachers from the Sound School, a magnent school in New Haven, hand pulled invasive plants at the public entrance the spring of 2006. Results were effective when the entire plant (including roots)was removed. Species controlled included Japanese honeysuckle and pachysandra, an ornamental plant that has slowly spread within the forest interior. Japanese knotweed expansion was restricted through regular mowing over the summer. Herbicide was purchased utilizing this grant to help control the isolated patches of knotweed in 2007.
Number of Acres Treated: 3
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 162
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:

$ $1,000.00

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 7.68 1%
Chemical 992.32 99%
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL $1,000.00

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Additional work could have been accomplished if Refuge volunteers and Friends Groups received more training on procedures for identifying and mapping invasive plants. The techical expertise required to use the Trimble Geo XT makes mapping by the general public difficult. Staff time is very limited in the summer months to provide hands-on training the volunteers needed. A step-by-step guide (or website) on how to map small parcels (5 acres or less) without GPS technology would be helpful. The funding provided through this grant was extremely helpful in mobilizing the Refuge's invasive plant mapping program.


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