Youth Conservation Corps – Week 3 Done, 1 More to Go!

It’s hard to believe that there is only one week left in this year’s program. One of our main goals has been to get the youth engaged and dedicated to conservation activities. This goal has required us to try to strike a balance between education, hard work, and fun. Through the help of several special visitors and local organizations, we have successfully kept our participants excited and enthusiastic about nature conservation. Take a look at what we did during week 3!

20140701_115427On Tuesday we visited the Southview Oak Savanna to pull invasive plants and collect seeds from native plants. 

20140702_115838On Wednesday, Dr. Mike Weintraub of the University of Toledo taught us about the importance of soil in the Oak Openings!20140702_111854Part of Dr. Weintraub’s presentation included group projects in which the participants took soil samples to measure the length of the A horizon, tested the water infiltration rate into the ground, performed a soil ribboning analysis, and sampled earthworms!

20140703_125543On Thursday we picked up trash at both the Waterberry Wetwoods and Herr Road Property. Look at all the amazing stuff we cleared away!

Stay tuned for the final update!

Restoration Experiment

Did you know that TOPS owns a 7-acre parcel where Herr Road crosses Ten Mile Creek?

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Vernal Pool at TOPS Herr Road property

Currently, the Herr Road property contains floodplain forest, a vernal pool and some old turf areas. But the old turf area has stopped looking like a yard … over the past several years, some cool native plants started just growing up in the turf. We’re going to help that area change back into native wildlife habitat by removing the turf that’s left and helping native plants grow in its place.

We’re going to do a habitat restoration experiment there. We’re trying two methods of turf removal … scraping the turf off with a loader and spraying the turf with herbicide. Then, we’re going to sow native seeds in half of the scraped areas and half of the sprayed areas. In the other half of the scraped and sprayed areas, we’re going to see what plants grow up from the seed bank … like those natives that already grew through the turf all on their own.

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Scraping the turf off

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