CSD Students Attack Invasive Species
On Friday morning, October 7, Davidson Lands Conservancy (DLC), in partnership with Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC), hosted 25 high-schoolers from the Community School of Davidson at Fisher Farm for a conservation project. The morning’s mission was to learn about the importance of plant diversity and to remove invasive plants in a small section of the Park. The removal target for the project was autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata).
This initiative is part of a comprehensive program designed to enhance wildlife habitat and native vegetation at Fisher Farm and adjacent Abersham Park. The initiative is led by a collaborative chaired by Dr. Pam Hay, retired Davidson College biology professor and DLC Board member.
DLC and CLC host CSD students 4 to 6 times a year for various conservation initiatives. “Our students love working with DLC and CLC on conservation projects. These projects are productive, well-run, and also serve up a meaningful educational opportunity for the students”, said CSD faculty member John Sadusky. The groups have repaired trails and planted and stewarded trees.
Control of invasive plants is critical to bio-diversity of our local ecosystems. Many invasive plants were introduced during the nineteenth century to help with erosion control or as ornamental plants. Autumn olive is prolific and quickly creates a monoculture by out-competing a diversity of native plants. Andy Kane, who serves on the Fisher Farm Wildlife Enhancement committee, shared with the students that “autumn olive is able to fix atmospheric nitrogen in its roots, allowing it to thrive in infertile soils. It’s a nasty invasive”.
The CSD students worked hard in small groups using loppers and saws. The cuttings will be chipped by Bartlett Tree Experts staff. Bartlett is a generous, outstanding community partner with DLC. “This is another example of how working collaboratively with community partners allows us to do what we do and punch way above our weight”, said Dave Cable, DLC Executive Director.
About – Davidson Lands Conservancy is an accredited land trust with the mission to conserve local lands and natural resources, and connect lives to nature. DLC advances its mission through education and through four conservation pillars or programs: land conservation and stewardship; greenways and trails; urban forestry; and wildlife habitat. The growth pressures on Davidson area high and, while economic development benefits our community, balancing growth with well stewarded and conserved natural lands is critical to our quality of life and to keeping Davidson special, attractive and healthy. Go to Davidsonlands.org for details on programs, news, and events.