Okay, so aside from the many great things rain does, like not having to water my veggie garden or lawn, it does make going out and enjoying the outdoors a bit damp and chilly. Our guided walk at Broadview Park last Saturday was met with beautiful weather. I do hope that our next walk on June 16th, at Cole Marsh off of Damren Road, also has great weather as well. Last year at Cole Marsh we witnessed a turtle laying her eggs. I wonder what we will experience this year?
Our next Go Green Meeting is on Thursday, June 7th at 7 pm at the Municipal Building (rm 207). We will be discussing the lastest information regarding our anti-littering campaign, our recycling subcomitte will report their plans, and of course, we will talk about the exciting documentary screening of Tapped at The Coffee Factory scheduled for June 23rd at 6:00 pm. Hope to see our regular members there and new guests are always welcome!
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I would like to extend a big thank you to all who came out on Saturday to help the Derry Conservation Commission remove invasive plants at Shepard Conservation Area. It was a busy day in town with the Hazardous Waste Drop Off at West Running Brook, Derry Garden Club plant sale, Derry Public Library fairy house building, Heritage Day at First Parish Church, and so many residents out enjoying the beautiful weather! Those of you who attended our invasive removal day got a good workout if not a good laugh at the “lightsaber” approach to erradicating unwanted plantlife by my son! The coffee was great and I think I found a new nemesis, Multiflora Rose, who stuck and scratched me while I pulled the garlic mustard. I admit, I chose the garlic mustard area as it seemed to be the least work and I could watch the kids at the same time, but that Multiflora Rose lost the battle as we pulled it out as well. Whew! Our work is not done, though, as we will be holding a few more removal events at Shepard CA this summer to assist with the habitat restoration.
So until then, how about a fun walk in the fields and woods at Broadview Farm? Our first Conservation Summer Walk event will be this coming Saturday, May 26, at 8AM. Please come join us as we take a guided walk through the trails and ask our very own docent, Paul Dione, anything and everything you want to know – from the resident Bobolinks to the identity of trees and plants along the way. We will have water and coffee available. Kids and dog-friendly pets are welcome, lightsabers optional.
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Wow this rain is welcome, but I do like those quick peeks of sunshine! We’ve been working on our lawn trying to establish some northeastern mix of turf grass. If I had my way, I’d plant a lot more native grasses and possibly put a nice border of buffalo grass in some areas. However, my spouse likes the green lawn look. The rainy weather makes it easier to pull the unwelcome weeds out by the root and expose some also unwanted grubs for the new chickens we have. While dandilions may be considered weeds, they are not invasive species that will kill native species and starve the local wildlife. So I don’t mind if I leave a few around. What I am concerned about is the young Oriental Bittersweet I have found slowly wrapping itself around a young sapling. This invasive vine, also known by its scientific name as Celastrus orbiculatus, is common in Derry as is a few other invasives (such as Japanese Knotweed and Burning Bush, to name two). By definition, an invasive species (plant or animal) is one that is introduced, has no natural “enemies” to curb its population, and doesn’t offer any benefit to the local wildlife. It will overtake an area and as a result, kills off the native plants and animals. Why is this our problem? Well it is actually a lot of people’s problem. Once it is in your neighbor’s yard, then it will be in yours overtaking trees and landscaping. How did these plants and animals get here? Well for Oriental Bittersweet, it was introduced in the 1860′s as an ornamental plant. Other invasives got established because they were thought to be good for erosion control. No matter, it is here and we have to serve as its population control. The best way, of course, is to pull out the plant – root and all. But if any root parts are left, it can often lead to reinfestation. Chemical controls (see the UNH Extension website for more information) are excellent ways to kill off the invasive species, but be aware that living in NH means that we live near a watershed and herbicides can be harmful if not illegal to use in certain areas. Please read the labels and use appropriately. If you want to get some first hand experience and help out Go Green and the Derry Conservation Commission, please join us on May 19th at the Shepard Conservation Area at 9 AM. We will have an expert there, plenty of tools, and coffee, of course! Be sure to wear bug spray and have a pair of heavy duty work gloves, too. We could use all the help we can get and you might just learn how to identify and get rid of the invasives in your own yard!
Shepard Conservation Area
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