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2006 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Invasive Plant Control and Monitoring at Three National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island
Region: 5
Station: Rhode Island NWR Complex
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Suzanne Paton 364-9124
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
The Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes five coastal refuges that protect maritime forest, shrubland and grassland habitats for wildlife, including migratory birds. This project focused on three of those refuges where the distribution and abundance of invasive plants has recently been mapped. This year the focus was on removing the early invaders that were detected on those refuges, and preventing the spread of invasions in sensitive and newly restored habitats. In addition, we focused on recruiting and training volunteers and reaching out to abutting landowners where concentrations of invasive plants were spreading onto refuge lands.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Morrows Honeysuckle Lonicera morowii
Japanese Honeysucle Lonicera japonica
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii
Black Swallowwort Cynanchum louiseae
Oriental Bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus
Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata
Japanese Knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum
Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata
Spotted Knapweed Centaurea biebersteinii
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp     VA_SchoolGrp        VA_GradIntern                   
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteers were involved in each aspect of the invasive species removal this year. At Sachuest Point NWR volunteers pulled Garlic Mustard by hand, monitored vegetative plots in recently burned and herbicided grasslands, assisted with cutting and herbiciding of Autumn Olive, herbicided Swallowwort, and cut a stand of Japanese Knotweed for herbicide application to the stems. At Ninigret NWR volunteers hand pulled Autumn Olive in restored shrublands and Oriental Bittersweet adjacent to the rare plant site. At Trustom Pond NWR volunteers worked alongside a biological technician to locate and remove various species of invasives in the forested portion of the refuge.
Total Number of Volunteers: 28
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 1,058
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
The Friends of the NWR of RI supported this project with financial contributions as well as volunteer time. In addition, volunteers were recruited from local schools and the University of R.I.


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).
As part of this project we recruited and trained 28 volunteers, conducted outreach to neighboring landowners, and restored over 100 acres of habitat to an invasive-free condition. Over 50 acres of maritime forest was systematically cleared of shade tolerant agressive species including Japanese Barberry and Japanese Honeysuckle. Another 50 acres of newly re-generating shrublands were restored by removing more than 420 individual Autumn Olive shrubs by hand. A rare plant site was protected from being over-run by Oriental Bittersweet, with volunteers hand pulling plants within the site, and flagging infestations for follow up in the surrounding area that were treated by refuge staff. Treatment of new invasions of highly agressive species were also initiated this year including patches of Japanese Knotweed and Black Swallowwort on two refuges. We made great strides this year in our fight against non-native invasive species. By focusing on keeping clean areas clean, protecting sensitive areas, and removing new infestations of aggressive species we were able to make meanigful headway toward restoring valuable coastal habitats.
Number of Acres Treated: 115
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped:
Number of Acres Restored: 100


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ 8,000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 1,030 13
Biocontrol Agents
Travel 513 6
Volunteer Stipends 2,000 25
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract 4,368 55
Restoration Materials
TOTAL 8,000 100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Without the funding provided through this project this work would not have been possible. With limited refuge staff, and various large scale restoration projects underway it was imperative that we have an additional staff person available to coordinate volunteers and interns devoted to this work. In addition, the bio-tech and intern hired through this project devoted numerous hours to locating and removing invasive species in sensitive and high priority areas.


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