Conserve Wildlife Blog

Photo from the Field

June 28th, 2011

Final Phase of site work at Ballanger Creek Complete!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An excavator removes milled asphalt that was dumped into freshwater wetlands. © Ben Wurst

In late 2009 we received notification that we were going to receive funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to carry out a habitat enhancement project inside Bass River State Forest. The purpose of the project was to enhance habitat on site for migratory birds and other wildlife, especially rare species. The main part of the project was to remove fill and control invasives, like phragmites, that was illegally dumped on the edge of freshwater wetlands. The first phase of the project was to create scrub-shrub habitat. In early 2010 we planted over 1,000 native shrubs that provide both food and cover. Even though it was a hot, dry summer last year many of the shrubs are already flowering and bearing fruit. In summer we broadcast 75 lbs. of wildflower seed in the old fallow fields. Finally, over the past 2 weeks a crew from Anthony Excavating Inc. used excavators to remove tons (literally) of milled asphalt, concrete, and other debris (everything but the kitchen sink) along the edge of the wetlands. They used a small excavator that was able to reach a long distance without disturbing much of the surrounding area.

A series of interpretive signs are being designed and will be installed on site this fall. I also plan to work with volunteers from Bass River State Forest to enhance a 1.5 mile loop hiking trail around an old fire road on the edge of the wetlands.



Removing milled asphalt that was dumped into freshwater wetlands. © Ben Wurst

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