It’s Buy-A-Tree time again!
Fill out the blue form which came with this newsletter, slip in a check, and send it back to the nature center. Your donation will purchase a small tree or shrub which will be planted in the woodland area adjacent to the Interpretive Building and will help up create a “Forest of the Future” for the nature center. While you are at it, you can designate your contribution be made in memory of or in honor of someone. Your Buy-A-Tree contribution (not the amount) and the “in memory of” or “in honor of” designation will be recognized in the next issue of our newsletter.
This is the fourth year of the Buy-A-Tree program, which is part of a long-term project to improve the forest around the Interpretive Building. Over the last three years, we have planted nearly 200 small trees and shrubs near the building, mulched them to prevent water loss, and caged them against deer damage. Garden clubs, Boy Scouts, foundations, and many individuals have pitched in and we are slowly, but surely, creating our forest. It will take a few years of growth before we can remove the cages from around the plants, and even longer before we can sit in the shade of these trees, but in time the building will be surrounded by a wonderful mixture of native woody plants. These plants will in turn attract a great variety of native insects, birds, mammals and other animals. They will also provide a colorful fall display of red, orange, and yellow around the building.
In conjunction with this project, we are also removing any non-native species in the planting area, and from other areas around the nature center. Combating invasive species continues to be a big part of our stewardship efforts, and we have really stepped up our efforts in recent years. We cannot expect our native plantings to do well if they are surrounded by aggressive, non-native plants. Invasive plant species which will be worked on this year are: garlic mustard, dame’s rocket, autumn olive, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, Oriental bittersweet, purple loosestrife, glossy buckthorn, common reed grass, Japanese barberry, and celandine. We have our work cut out for us, but it is well worth the effort.
Please join us in our work. Make a Buy-A-Tree contribution. Give us a hand on planting day. Learn more about invasive plants by picking up information at the nature center. Take part in a work day and help remove invasive plants. We need lots of partners for this work. Thanks for all of your support!
Mike Champagne, Executive Director