Dirt from the Field-October 2011

So far so good-I have been working here at Prescott Creeks as the Field Projects Coordinator for almost 2 months, and I am already feeling a strong connection with Prescott.  My co-workers are great, I have met lots of cool people who are passionate about the environment, and I am beginning to understand the challenges we all face in protecting our aquatic resources.

A few highlights of what’s going on in the field:

Watson Woods-I have spent a lot of time at Watson Woods-It is truly a beautiful place, and for those of you who have not visited in a while, you would be amazed at the amount of vegetative growth that is occuring.  As part of our monitoring for the fall, I surveyed the cottonwoods and willows planted throughout the preserve, and I am happy to report an 80% survival rate.  This is in addition to many “volunteer” species that are sprouting up everywhere along the banks of the creek and in our wetlands.  Also, as my “October at Watson Woods” image gallery shows, it looks like the winter flows in Granite Creek have arrived, which will help replenish groundwater and continue to nourish our young trees.

Invasive Species Control-I am working with a student from Prescott College, Mari Echevarria, to develop an invasive species management plan for Watson Woods.  As many of you know, several non-native species exist at Watson Woods and throughout Prescott that often “out-compete” our valuable native species.  Examples of these species include Scotch thistle, Common Teasel, Spotted knapweed, Dalmatian Toadflax, and Siberian Elm. This fall/winter, Mari and I will be exploring potential solutions to control, and hopefully eradicate these invasive species.  More on this later…

 —Finally, I’d like to say thanks to all of our volunteers, including our former Field Project Coordinator, Jay Crocker, who is still actively involved with many of our projects and has been a big help to me.  As I visit Watson Woods and other sites around the watershed, I realize that I am stepping into a huge community effort.  It is obvious to me that a lot of time and energy has been spent on improving our creeks, riparian areas, and wetlands.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed!


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