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2008 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Invasive Mapping and Control at Great Meadows, Oxbow and Assabet River NWRs
Region: 5
Station: Eastern MA NWR Complex
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Eileen McGourty 978-443-4661 x37
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
The goal of this project is to obtain assistance in coordinating invasive mapping and control efforts on Assabet River, Great meadows and Oxbow NWRs within the Eastern MA NWR Complex through an agreement with a non-profit organization. Since Assabet River has already been mapped for invasive species the focus will be on control and developing an invasive management plan for the Refuge. The management plan will identify high priority species, critical control areas, and best methods of control for each species and area. The plan will also outline how to maximize use of volunteers to maintain a productive invasive species control program and increase volunteer support. The plan would be implemented beginning June of 2008 through volunteer work days. The focus at Oxbow and Great Meadows would be on developing, testing and initiating a volunteer mapping program. Since both refuges have a large component of wetlands which make mapping difficult, a different method needs to be developed to map these areas.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Japanese stiltgrass Microstegium vimineum
Norway maple Acer platanoides
Glossy buckthorn Frangula alnus
Oriental bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus
Common barberry Berberis vulgaris
Multiflora rose Rosa multiflora
Gill over the ground Glechoma hederacea
Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima
Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteers have taken part in 5 work parties at Assbet River NWR to remove several species of invasives and have removed invasives on 30 acres of refuge lands. Volunteers invovled in the mapping program have participated in several classroom and field training sessions in order to learn invasive plant identification and the mapping protocol developed by MA Audubon which uses GPS units and ArcPad. Volunteers have recently started to map on their own and have mapped 45 acres. MA Audubon continues to oversee the mapping done by volunteers to work with any problems they may have.
Total Number of Volunteers: 14
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 216
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
MA Audubon Society, Friends of Oxbow NWR, Friends of Assabet River NWR


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).
To date, MA Audubon has developed a mapping protocol to be used by volunteer mappers. The protocol is based on a mapping protocol used by MA Audubon to map the invasive plant species at Assabet River NWR. The method involves documenting the presence of invasive plants along with an abundance code within a 50 X 50 meter quad. Volunteers navigate their way to the quad, look for invasives, and then can input the species and abundance information directly into a form on the GPS unit. In this way the refuge staff will have relative abundance and location of invasive species which will allow them to target which species will be controlled in the future. Eight volunteers have been trained in the mapping protocol and use of the GPS units and are now starting to map quads on their own. In addition to the development and implementation of the mapping program, MA Audubon has also led 5 work parties at Assabet River NWR. Volunteers have removed a variety of invasive plant species from the refuge and were instrumental in stopping a new invasion of Japanese stiltgrass found on the refuge in Sept. of this year! Work will continue on with the mapping program on Great Meadows and Oxbow Refuges as well as the management plan for Assabet River NWR.
Number of Acres Treated: 30
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 45
Number of Acres Restored: need to monitor in 2009 to determine effectiveness


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ 14,500

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract $14,500 100%
Restoration Materials

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This program was very useful in securing the funding to work with volunteers and get our volunteer mapping and control program up and running. In a time of lean staffing we are not able to coordinate such a volunteer effort alone. It would also be benefical if funding were available for invasive control that could be used to hire contractors. Contractors are the expert on control techniques, have the equipment to handle the large jobs and can guarantee control.


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