Austin Parcel Community Stewardship Day, at the parking lot for the Lareau swim hole
Community Stewardship Day
The Austin Parcel has many values – floodwater retention, wildlife habitat, support for pollinators, and a contributor to healthy instream conditions in the Mad River. It is also a pleasant place to walk and to access Mill Brook and the river.
Yet it was converted to agricultural more than a century ago, a use that ended after Hurricane Irene carried cobbles into the open fields in 2011. Haying was no longer possible. And when the haying stopped, Japanese knotweed started invading rapidly and aggressively.
The Waitsfield Conservation Commission has a better plan – one to reduce invasive species such as buckthorn, reed canary grass, non-native honeysuckle, and knotweed and instead plant native tree species that will compose a native floodplain forest. This will produce direct ecological benefit on a Town-owned property. It might also create some recreational benefit. And it could further provide a model for other property owners in the Valley to understand and implement their own plans to reduce invasive species and create native, natural conditions that support our wildlife, migratory birds, and pollinators.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
9 -11:30 Identifying and managing invasive plant species
11:30 -12:30 Lunch and explore
12:30 - 3:00 A Floodplain forest: Learning and tree planting
Intervale Conservation Nursery
Friends of the Mad River
Mad River Path Association