Xylem Volunteers Help MRG Get a Jump on Spring Projects
Invasive Species Control—Thanks to a volunteer group from Xylem’s Watermark Outreach Program, we made a dent in the ongoing battle with invasive plants and vines that constantly threaten the Preserve. Volunteers helped pull and bag garlic mustard to prevent the plants from re-seeding. They also pulled and cut oriental bittersweet, which seems particularly prolific right now, winged euonymus, Japanese barberry, multi-flora rose, and Tartarian honeysuckle.
Wildflower Restoration Garden—Building on the success of the project started in 2016, and with help from a grant from Westchester Community Foundation, MRG recently added 10 new raised beds to the garden. Another volunteer group from Xylem helped line the new beds with weed-resistant plastic, fill them with rich soil / compost, and weed the older beds. The beds contain a variety of native plants grown from seed that will ultimately be re-planted in the Preserve. They will be planted in deer exclosures and in areas where invasives have been removed.
Building Deer Exclosures—Two teams of Xylem volunteers worked on erecting a permanent deer exclosure and smaller, temporary exclosures to protect young plants. Exclosures are typically constructed of black wire mesh fencing that blends into the scenery, and are high enough so that deer can’t jump over them. The Exclosure Trail located at the far end of the parking is open for visitors to see what a healthy forest floor looks like in the absence of hungry deer.
Mianus River Gorge is grateful to the Xylem volunteers who pulled vines, hauled dirt, and carried heavy rolls of wire into the forest. We are able to accomplish so much more with the help of wonderful volunteer teams like the Xylem employees. THANK YOU!