In the quiet of Blaauw Ecoforest the sounds a nature can be heard by the listening ear. The gentle songs of birds call out as they flit from tree to tree as I walk along the trail. Coming from an urban setting the sounds of nature are a welcoming break to my ears. Twigs and small branches crack and snap underfoot and I stop at the fence line. Nearly two years ago the fence was built causing damage to the edges of the ecoforest.
Since September 2016, it has been my task to see to the recovery of the disturbed edge through plantings and invasive plant management. Himalayan blackberry and evergreen blackberry have moved into the disrupted edges and started taking hold, as invasive plants so often do. Recently I had come out with another co-worker from LEPS and we walked along the fence line digging out the invading blackberries. Thankfully they aren’t well established on the forest side of the fence, and with the addition of plantings the native ecosystems stand a chance against the blackberry.
I sigh and stick my shovel into the rich earth. The forest will be beautiful come spring time, I can just imagine the shrubs full of leaves and birds singing while pollinators fly from flower to flower. Blaauw Ecoforest will be an important home to biodiversity and for future generations to come to enjoy.
~Hannah Nieman, Habitat Restoration Technician
Come out and join us on Friday, February 24 from 10-2pm to plant! Contact Hannah at [email protected] for info and to sign up.