To start things off I'd like to take you all back to the past. If you recall, in week three of the LANDS program we began our first of three tree inventories of the summer in Shelburne, VT. The town was so interested in our work and the work of the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry program, they asked us to present to the Shelburne tree committee and to the Select Board. After sitting in on some of the Select Board meeting, and hearing some heated discussions prior to out presentation, some of us started to feel a bit anxious, but as always we were up to the challenge!
Jessa and Gabo presenting to the Shelburne Tree Committee
The team "monkeying" around between the two presentations
Lincoln introducing the presentation and the LANDS crew
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a video with actual words helps. Here is a link to our presentation to the Shelburne Select Board!
Be sure to click on the Video "Shelburne Selectboard" for July 22, 2014
Now, to bring you to the slightly more recent past. The final two days of week eight, and the beginning two of week nine were completely devoted to working on our small team projects (STPs). What are STPs you ask? It's a chance for interns to work in groups of two or three, and exercise all their skills they've accumulated to assist a project sponsor with whatever conservation work they need. Essentially, it's similar to the work we've done all summer, but each team got the freedom to supervise themselves and delineate tasks for the week.
We didn't just get thrown out into the wild though. Each intern received the chance to chose their top three projects out of a potential nine that had been offered to the program. Our wonderful leaders then broke us into small teams based on our project preferences and we were divided as follows:
Team 1: Travis, Dustin, and Katherine
Team 2: Ben, Travis, and Nate
Team 3: Jess and Gabo
Team 1 was chosen to complete the Williams Woods Invasive Survey in Charlotte, VT. This team's objective was to survey transects in Williams Woods for bush honeysuckle, common buckthorn, glossy buckthorn, Japanese barberry, and burning bush (all common non-native invasives in Vermont). It started with some difficulty and heartache as this group spent four hours searching for rebar along the property edge which was supposed to identify the start of the transects. They never found the rebar and were forced to improvise, but never fear! This group persevered by creating their own transects. In the end, they had a ton of fun and received more lessons in bush-waking than they ever thought possible.
Dustin and Katherine identifying invasive plants within their plot
Katherine and Travis were forced to measure the distance to the next transect because the brush was too thick
Travis and Katherine at the start of one of the transects, where there was a thick patch of honeysuckle and buckthorn
Team 2 was selected to create an interpretive trail map for Journeys End trail and swimming hole in Johnson, VT. Ben, Lincoln, and Nate spent one day in the field exploring the trail, identifying the plants, mapping the trail, and even enjoying the awesome swimming hole! They spent three additional days in the office reporting writing, and working with Photoshop to create some amazing signage. They created five signs with engaging, accessible information on the following subjects: wildlife community, geology, forest community, stream ecology, and land use history. These signs are intended to reach a wide range of audiences and will be an amazing addition to this already beautiful area.
Some beautiful Indian pipe identified by the team
Ben working in the computer lab on Photoshop
Current Journeys End sign
An example of the signage created by the team in Photoshop
Team 3 also worked in Journeys End in Johnson, Vermont, but they focused on trail connectivity. The objective was to increase understanding and accessibility of Johnson's extensive trail network. Specifically, the team surveyed trail conditions, located potential trial linkages, and created a comprehensive map of the trail system. They did this via GPS mapping, a lot of hiking, and traversing the many rivers and waterfalls that flow through the trail network. At the end of it all, they created maps in GIS that present the current and proposed trail network.
|Gabo standing majestically in front of a waterfall|
Another beautiful waterfall along the trail network
Awesome map created by Gabo and Jessa with GIS software
Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy the pictures.
On behalf of the LANDS Summer team 2014
Wishing everyone well,
Wishing everyone well,