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Sourland Conservancy is thrilled to have the partnership of Bristol-Myers Squibb in two of its active stewardship projects in the Sourlands. The Conservancy recently received a generous BMS Grant to revise, print and mail its award-winning stewardship handbook for residents, titled, “Living in the Sourlands: A Guide For Responsible Stewardship.”

This morning, BMS sent twenty-five “Helping Hands” volunteers to join the Sourland Conservancy in Hopewell Borough Park to help remove invasive shrubs in support of the American Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project there. The Sourland Conservancy, Mercer County Parks and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space are partners in this project.

Sourland Conservancy members and staff joined Mercer County naturalist, Jenn Rogers,  along with twenty-five intrepid volunteers from Bristol-Myers Squibb to remove invasive shrubs in the Hopewell Borough Park in support of the American Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project.

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The group met at the Park gazebo, enjoyed bagels and coffee, then went straight to work.  As the sun warmed the fields and temperatures climbed toward the upper 80’s, the group worked tirelessly to remove the target shrubs. The team quickly learned to identify and eliminate invasive autumn olive, honeysuckle bush and vine, crabapple, and multiflora rose using loppers, pruners and hand saws on loan from project partner, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space. The team learned that invasive plants and shrubs crowd out the native plants that are critical to our local ecology. Without the native plants to supply food, shelter and breeding habitat, our native insects, pollinators, birds, amphibians, mammals and humans cannot thrive.

The group removed hundreds of invasive plants during their three-hour work session this morning and prevented the growth of thousands of shrubs that would have been reproduced by those invasive plants.

Laurie Cleveland

Sourland Conservancy
Director of Communications and Development

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