Our project on the Fawcett Center is one which is ongoing. The end goal of the project is to positively influence the Fawcett Center ecosystem. We planned on doing this through removing invasive species such as honeysuckle and callery pear, but we were met with one problem in the form of an avian research project which is also ongoing in that area. This led us to change the main purpose of the project. Instead of removing species, we planned on maintaining the current native woody vegetation which was planted last year. This could be done in the form of us tagging trees in hopes of recording how many sapling survive to hopefully reach maturity. This was also problematic, as we didn’t get a good start on this until winter had already begun.
We committed two afternoons (for a combined of about 8 hours) plus several hours of online research to finding saplings and surveying the area for native woody vegetation. Additionally, through research done at home, we’ve found that the honeysuckle that we worked hard to remove last year may end up coming back regardless. Apparently the plant is difficult to kill, unless the entire root system is removed from the ground. Overall, I would say that there is still much work to be done in the Fawcett center. Some of this will have to done in the spring, such as checking the survival rate of the saplings. It’s disappointing that we did not make as much of an impact as we had hoped, but continuing to work in the area should prove rewarding. If we were to do it again, we would obviously respect the avian research project by not removing plants. We should have focused more on adding good vegetation than removing invasive species which will probably remain regardless.
Overall, I would say that we had a lackluster start to the project, which was difficult to avoid given the unknowns. It is not a project that cannot be salvaged, however. I hope to find more effective ways to impact the area. We definitely need to be in better communication with other groups doing research in the area, and commit more time to the area.