Friday, October 26, 2012

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Nov 1 - Morgantown
West Virginia Rivers Coalition is hosting The Wild and Scenic Film Festival Thursday November 1st at The Met Theatre in Morgantown!  Join us for an evening of inspirational films and great prizes!  Tickets are purchased for $8.00 in advance online at  Tickets will be sold at the door for $10.00, or $8.00 with a Student ID.  All proceeds will go towards protecting WV's rivers and streams!  If you have any questions please contact the WVRC offices at 304-637-7201.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity at WVU Core Arboretum

Dear volunteers,

I hope you're having a good year and a good autumn. A few of you have expressed interest in volunteering at this time of year, so I thought I'd let you all know of this "opportunity."

The plan is to pull woody invasives on weekdays from November 1 through November 9, possibly continuing until November 16. There are two aspects of this.

1. Pulling and clipping Japanese honeysuckle vines where we find vines climbing trees and shrubs. I don't worry about the vines crawling on the forest floor, they have poor vigor and there are too many of them to deal with. When a vine starts to grow vertically, though, its vigor increases dramatically. These are the one to get after, pulling the root crowns out of the ground if possible, and always cutting/pulling the vines out of other woody plants. Ordinary hand pruners and good gloves are needed. This task is laborious (slow) but has its satisfactions. Japanese honeysuckle is common near the rail-trail, forest edges generally, and scattered through the rest of the Arboretum.

2. Pulling and popping invasive shrubs and small trees out of the ground. We'll walk all over the Arboretum, primarily seeking Amur honeysuckle, but also keeping our eyes peeled for other Asiatic honeysuckles, privet, barberry, winged euonymus, autumn-olive, Norway maple, and ailanthus. These are generally easier to find in the fall than at other times of the year. We've been getting after these for years, so most of the ones we find this year will be small. Gloves and picks are needed. I have two picks, useful for popping out plants that are too large or too firmly rooted to simply pull out.

I usually get one or two student workers to help with this in the fall, but this year I have none. If you are interested in helping, please respond to this email, indicating the days/times that work for you. If you're too busy or would rather not deal with November weather, that's okay, we don't need as many volunteers for this fall job as we need to pull garlic mustard in the spring. If you signed a waiver form last spring, you don't need to sign a new one this fall.

You may be interested to hear that I'm seeing many fewer garlic mustard plants this fall than I have seen in other years. Don't get me wrong, we'll still get truckloads out next spring, but I predict fewer truckloads in 2013 than in 2012, and we had fewer in 2012 than in 2011. Your good work is having a beneficial effect on the Arboretum's flora.

Thank you,

Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Department of Biology
Morgantown, WV 26506-6057