Natural Areas Crew Reports a Busy Year
Garlic Mustard, Japanese Knotweed, Goutweed, Glossy Buckthorn, Dame’s Rocket and Morrow’s Honeysuckle: These are just some of the non-native plant species that threaten the floodplain forest along the Poultney River. However, thanks to the Green Mountain College Natural Areas Crew, founded in the summer of 2006, progress has been made toward managing these species and restoring sustainable natural communities. Some highlights from the past year and a half include:
  • In the summer of 2006, the College hired its first Natural Areas Crew. Three students worked for part of the summer on Garlic Mustard control.

  • The College created a Natural Areas work study position for fall and spring semesters beginning in the 2006-07 academic year. In this position, senior Progressive Program student Shannon Bonney researched and wrote new management plans, and she organized the successful 2007 Garlic Mustard Pull and other volunteer events to carry out management objectives.

  • On the 3rd annual Earth Day Garlic Mustard Pull in 2007, 106 volunteers gave 82 hours over two days, and removed over 8,000 Garlic Mustard plants.

  • In the summer of 2007, GMC increased its funding for the Natural Areas Crew to support one almost full-time and several part-time crew members. Shannon Bonney and advisor Jim Graves led a crew that included Elaine Blodgett (’07), who also worked with The Nature Conservancy this summer, Justin Valliere (’07), who currently attends graduate school at the University of Hawaii, and Elizabeth Roma.

  • The crew collaborated with Paul Marangelo of The Nature Conservancy in the summer of 2007 to complete the first phase of Japanese Knotweed control.

  • In the spring of 2007, the college was awarded funds from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) to fund a portion of the Natural Areas Crew budget through 2010. The contract for $13,758 supports invasive plant control and restoration of forest along a treeless stretch of river.
For more information about the Natural Areas Management Crew, contact Shannon Bonney (through the fall of 2007) or Prof. Jim Graves.

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