Wayne Siebenaler

Date of volunteer work: 04/08/2016.
Site Name: Mitchell Creek.
Number of hours worked: 2.5.
Species removed: Armenian blackberry, foxglove.
Estimated percent cover before removal15% (blackberry) <1% (foxglove).
Approximate square feet of invasives removed50 sq ft (blackberry) 2 sq ft (foxglove).

The first thing I noticed after arriving at Mitchell Creek was that someone had driven up the steep, five-foot embankment and onto the flagged section, creating deep, muddy ruts in the moist soil.

After taking pictures of the damaged area, I went to work uprooting blackberries in a section I had last worked back in December. I started near the road and worked southward, parallel to a small stream. The soil in the area was super saturated, and I could effortlessly sink my spade the full length of its blade. As a result, I was able to extract most – if not all – of the root from every blackberry cane I weeded. Along with blackberry, I also dug up five or six foxglove plants.

After two hours of weeding, I walked uphill in search of false brome. I found none.

I next drove up Vrandenburg Road where I spotted a pile of illegally-dumped yard debris. I also saw that an obscene racial slur (misspelled) and a vulgar picture had been spray painted on two of the Jersey barriers that line the road.

On a positive note, the day was very warm and pleasant; the Oregon grape was in bloom, and the Sword ferns were unrolling their fiddleheads.

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