Friday, July 18, 2014

Checkin' Out the Trees in Swanton and Northfield

Week 7 marks our last group project! This week we were fortunate to work with the lovely Elise Schadler again completing tree inventories in Swanton and Northfield, VT. On Monday, the LANDS crew headed up to Swanton to meet with the village manager Reg Beliveau and get started on some surveying. Walking the streets in town, we used iPads to record data on all of the trees in the public right-of-way and vacant spots for potential tree plantings. The town was interested in documenting many features of each tree including condition, DBH, decay, root girdling, and whether it needs pruning. At night, we set up “tent city” at a local campground where we cooked burritos, enjoyed a campfire, and slept under a spectacular starry sky. Early the next morning, LANDS set out for a walk on the Discovery Trail at the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge. A raised boardwalk provided a passage through this wetland habitat where a variety of birds, wildflowers, and abundant dragonflies were spotted. Later that day, we finished up the inventory in pairs and headed back to Burlington as a storm rolled in. 

Swanton Swans!

Mapping the town

Missisquoi adventure

On Wednesday, LANDS met with the Northfield Conservation Commission on the town green and then took on the trees of Northfield. Similar to Swanton, we split into pairs with our iPads and orange vests to conquer the streets and take down some data. This time we also performed a tally of ash trees in preparation for the encroaching Emerald Ash Borer. Ruth Ruttenberg, a member of the Northfield Conservation Commission, generously allowed us to set up camp in her backyard. Hearing rumors of bears, coyotes, and maybe a catamount(!!) in the area, we decided that a night hike was a perfectly frightful way to spend the evening after a round of s’mores. On Thursday, we finished up our inventory and found some time to check out the biggest European Larch in Vermont! Overall, it was a wonderful time traversing these towns and meeting the locals. This week wraps up the projects we’re working on as a whole crew because next week we are tackling Small Team Projects!

The Larch

We found some BIG ones

Looking at ashes

LANDS crew

All the Best,
The LANDS Crew

By: Jessa Mason

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