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2010 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Himalayan Blackberry Removal/Woodland Regeneration, Ridgefield NWR
Region: 1
Station: Ridgefield NWR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Lynn Cornelius, Alex Chmielewski, 360-887-3883
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
This project would expand the control, restoration, and monitoring efforts to replace stands of Himalayan blackberry and reed canarygrass with Oregon oak and Oregon ash woodlands at Ridgefield NWR pursuant to the RNWR Habitat Restoration Planting Plan 2009-2012 - Floodplain Riparian Forest and Oak Woodland (November 2009). The Refuge has developed a crew of volunteer herbicide applicators and volunteer planting teams to remove non-native vegetation and establish stands of native vegetation with high wildlife value. Funds are requested for supplies (herbicide, fuel, tree tubes) and to hire a seasonal volunteer coordinator (October 2010 though March 2011). Funds will be obligated in FY 2010. Work will take place from Aug. 1, 2010 – March 30, 2011. In late summer 2010, herbicide applicator crews will treat stands of Himalayan blackberry in the Refuge’s Carty and River S Units. The crews will use primarily backpack sprayers to avoid impacting non-target species. Following treatment, dead canes will be removed by YCC crews, volunteers, and Refuge staff. To prevent future blackberry encroachment, volunteers and Refuge staff will plant native trees and shrubs from local sources in treated areas. At least three volunteer planting events will be scheduled between November and March. The coordinator will also be responsible for working with volunteers to collect seeds and cuttings on-Refuge and propagate plants for 2011-2012 restoration efforts.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Himalayan (Armenian) blackberry Rubus discolor (R. armeniacus)
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp VA_Scouts    VA_SchoolGrp                    VA_CivicOrg        VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteer herbicide applicators sprayed blackberry and reed canarygrass on current and new planting sites. Five (5) current licensed volunteer applicators and three (3) new applicators were engaged, two of which took license tests. Volunteer crews cut blackberry canes, planted and protected trees, maintained plantations, maintained nursery cuttings, and assisted with other habitat restoration tasks. Other volunteers helped with volunteer outreach and recruitment.
Total Number of Volunteers: 117
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 416
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Existing partnerships will be continued with the Friends of Ridgefield NWR, community volunteers, school groups, boy and girl scouts, and the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership. In addition to area schools and many community volunteers, the following organizations will help with volunteer outreach and labor: Clark County Watershed Stewards, Gee Creek Enhancement Committee, City of Ridgefield, WSU Vancouver, and Warner Pacific College.


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).
Invasives with Volunteers 2010 funding was combined with other NFWF grant funding to achieve the final project results. Two (2) applicators contributed 24 hours to treat blackberry on 7.2 acres of habitat. Twenty-five (25) college student volunteers conducted planting maintenance along ¾ mile of creek shoreline – cleaning off beaver fencing, assessing plantings, & repairing tube protectors. The AmeriCorps member coordinator maintained a nursery of native plant cuttings, and assisted with blackberry spraying. Volunteer applicators and staff continued blackberry treatment into the 3rd week of October, spot-treating blackberry over 9.8 acres and adding 5 volunteer hours. Refuge staff mowed 1.5 acres of dead blackberry and volunteers completed cane removal by hand around trees and shrubs, in preparation for site planting. Six (6) oak woodland volunteer plantings took place from 11/6/10 to 1/22/11 on sites previously occupied by blackberry. 115 volunteer visits contributed 387 hours planting more than 1700 trees and shrubs over 2.0 acres. A seasonal coordinator led volunteers, scheduled plantings, conducted volunteer outreach, obtained an herbicide applicator license and assisted with spraying. Herbicide and tree protector tubes were purchased and installed.
Number of Acres Treated: 16.0
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 0 (N/A)
Number of Acres Restored: 2


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ $15,000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $214 1.5%
Chemical $4,862 32.4%
Biocontrol Agents 0 0
Travel 0 0
Volunteer Stipends 0 0
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract $7,000 46.6%
Restoration Materials $2,924 19.5%
TOTAL $15,000 100%

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This program is a critical component of our multi-year approach which has been expanded over the past 5 years to help meet annual invasive species objectives, maintain long-term momentum on reduction, and increase our volunteer resources. Invasives with Volunteers 2010 funds also were used to help leverage a 1:1 match for $55,000 in private grant funding awarded to the Friends of Ridgefield NWR by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Columbia River Estuarine Coastal Fund (private penalty monies). We appreciate this funding – an essential component we look towards to help complete our annual funding needs. Follow-up funding will be sought over the next 2 seasons to increment treatment of oak woodland sites and to spot-treat surviving blackberry within plantings.


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