Stow's Japanese Stiltgrass Project (multiple sites)

Name:  Jacquie Goring

Organization: Stow Conservation Commission

Phone Number: (978) 897-8615

Where is the site located?: Stow Town Forest, Heath Hen, and Flagg Hill conservation areas

Property Overview: All of the properties are wooded with public access

Management Site Description:

Stow Town Forest- large property with public access trails
Flagg Hill and Heath Hen- smaller properties with some trails; connected by trail system and by Heath Hill Meadow Brook

How many acres are in the management area: Town Forest: 365.5 total, 9' by 9' plot of stiltgrass; Flagg Hill: 98 total, one 5'x5' plot and one 40'x40' plot

Is it listed on EDDMapS?: Yes

Habitat Type: Mixed Forest

Initial Invasive Distribution Description: The 9'x9' plot in the Town Forest was about 50% cover. In Flagg Hill, both the 5'x5' plot and the 40'x40' plot were roughly 100% cover.

What this Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)?: Yes

What were the target species? Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

What was the initial percent cover of invasives?: 51-75%

What were the management objectives?: Eradicate 3 the three patches to prevent spread by trail users or by waterways.

What was the approximate project start date?: 08/12/2015

Project Summary:

The Stow Conservation Commission has been actively monitoring and managing a patch of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) an early detection species, located at Flagg Hill Conservation Land which was identified in 2014. The Conservation Commission had received reports of Japanese stiltgrass patches in other areas of Flagg Hill and at Stow Town Forest. There are concerns that Japanese stiltgrass may spread along a drainage course of Flagg Hill toward Heath Hen Meadow Brook.

In 2015, the Commission received $700 of funding to survey and remove Japanese Stiltgrass at Town Forest, Flagg Hill and Heath Hen Conservation Lands. The remaining funds from the 2015 stilt grass survey and removal project were used in 2016 to monitor the stiltgrass patches that were removed in 2015.


Control Method: Manual, Weed whacker

Disposal Method: Bagging

Detailed Project Timeline:

2014: a patch of Japanese stiltgrass was detected in the Town Forest
2015: Funding for monitoring and conrol was received through CISMA

In August, staff members worked to manually pull and weed whack stiltgras before it went to seed. In the second year of management, the original 40'x40' patch at Flagg Hill took less than an hour of work, the patch in the Town Forest took about 30 mins, and the newly discovered 5'x5' patch at Flagg Hill took about 4 hours.

Was there a restoration component?: No

Restoration summary (if applicable): N/A

Funding Sources: CISMA grant

Final Acres in Management Area: Same, with monitoring of patches

Percent Cover Invasives Year 1: 51-75%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 2: 26-50%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 3: 0-5%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 5: N/A

Percent Cover Invasives Year 10: N/A

Final Invasive Distribution Pattern: The patch at the Town Forest is at essentially 0%. The Flagg Hill patches are responding well and hopes are that they too will be essentially eradicated after a similar treatment timeline.

Any comments or takeaways? This kind of management takes multiple years, but it is easily managed and worth the time and effort. There has been some outreach to neighbors to help monitor the patches and keep an eye out for other occurrences.

Is your site open to the public?: Yes

Are you able to provide a tour?: Yes