We just heard the good news that the East Quabbin Land Trust was awarded two grants through the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program! That’s terrific to receive critical funding to continue the stewardship projects on several Preserves in the area.
Areas with lots of young trees is getting hard to find, and yet there are many animals, birds and insects that need the densely packed places to feed and breed. About five years ago a ten acre area of young forest at the Deer Park Preserve was cleared, creating such an area. Periodically the trees need to be cut to keep them from developing into mature woods. With this grant funding, we’ll be able to “set back the clock” so to speak, by knocking down all that’s growing there now. Plus we’ll be able to take another crack at controlling the invasive plants that survived earlier treatments. In this case, it multiflora rose and bittersweet.
The second grant is for completing prescribed burns at two EQLT locations this spring. The Frohloff Farm has pitch pine-scrub oak habitat along the river front. This area, along with sandplain grasses, should respond favorably when burned. Pitch pine has a thick bark that protects it from fire. Other competing vegetation is more susceptible to fire, leaving pitch pine to grow vigorously. There are many rare moths and butterflies that feed and use pitch pine.
The wet meadow in the center of Wendemuth Meadow will also be burned this spring. The desired plants respond well to burning, leaving the wet meadow healthier. We look forward to seeing the results!