Thursday, June 21, 2012

LANDS 2012 Blog: Week 2

Monday, June 11

We started off our second week at LANDS by preparing for our first camping trip.  After we got all of the details nailed down, we headed off to Mount Philo State Park to do some invasive removal.

Evidence of all our hard work.
The plant we were removing, Wild Parsnip, has a chemical in its shoot that causes a condition called “phytophotodermatitis,” which results in large, blistering burns when the chemical gets on skin that’s exposed to sunlight.  Therefore, we were out in the heat in long sleeves and heavy work gloves for protection.  Thankfully, no one was burned and we managed to make a significant dent in the park’s infestation during the few hours that we were there.  After we piled (and then re-piled) the bags of parsnip, we drove up to the top of Mount Philo to change out of our now-contaminated clothes and enjoyed the beautiful view.

Tuesday, June 12

Tuesday was only a half-day to make up for some of the extra hours we’d be putting in while we were camping.  We met at the GreenHouse and then drove over to Oakledge Park, where we did some reflection exercises in the tree house and talked about some new duties we would have during our major projects.  Afterwards, we went on our first cooperative grocery shopping trip and managed to get everything (except the beans) in less than 20 minutes.  Then we all headed back home to prepare for the next day.

At the top of Mount Philo.
Wednesday, June 13

Today marked the beginning of both our first camping trip and our first project for LANDS.  We are working with Green Mountain National Forest through the White River Partnership to map invasives around the White River.  We spent the day learning about the invasives we’d be seeing with Forest Service botanist Mary-Beth Deller and then we explored Rochester to look for living examples.  At the end of the day, we went to Branbury State Park to set up camp and cook dinner.

Plotting out our routes for the day.
Thursday, June 14

We began Thursday by dividing up into teams of two or three and plotting out where each group was going to do their surveys.  We did the first half-mile of a road together to practice filling out our data sheets and then we split off to our respective roads, where we spent the rest of the day looking for invasives.  Some of the groups were on busier roads, while some ended up in areas that were more remote.


Friday, June 15

Friday was a bit more of an adventure than Thursday with some groups ending up on roads or trails that didn’t exist or that had been washed out.  Thankfully, no one was really lost and we even managed to get done and head back to Burlington a little early.
Dylan modeling our awesome hard hats.

See you next week!

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