Walden Woods Project's Bear Garden Hill

Name:  Matt Burne

Organization: The Walden Woods Project

Phone Number: 781-256-4709

Where is the site located?: 42.444725, -71.361835 ; 649 Sudbury Rd, Concord

Property Overview: Walden Woods is a 2,690 acre landscape 18 miles west of Boston that inspired Henry David Thoreau. The Walden Woods Project manages 160 within Walden Woods. The parcel that holds Bear Garden Hill is located on the north end of Fairhaven Hill, a historically significant location in Walden Woods. The parcel is approximately 17 acres. Roughly 13 areas are forested with old pine, about 3 acres are wetland and red maple swamp, and the treatment area of ~1 acre is  upland field habitat.

Management Site Description: The upland field area used to be farm fields through the 1950s. After agricultural abandonment, much of the the field size has been reduced and is surrounded by young mixed hardwood forest.

How many acres are in the management area: 1.5

Is it listed on EDDMapS?: No

Habitat Type: Field/forest edge, Abandoned agricultural field

Initial Invasive Distribution Description: At initial site evaluation in April 2012, oriental bittersweet  was densely spread throughout the field and was climbing maple trees in the field center and all along the forest edge, particularly the southern edge. The northern forest edge had many dense patches of bush honeysuckle. The forest edge also contained glossy buckthorn and multiflora rose. Burning bush penetrated the forest edge in to the forest and garlic mustard was found growing along the entrance road to the site. Porcelain berry was located later in the field.  

What this Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)?: No

What were the target species? Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus), Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus oribiculatus), Porcelain berry

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

What were the management objectives?: The main goal of this project was to improve and maintain open field wildlife habitat.

What was the approximate project start date?: 05/01/2012

Project Summary: Manual control was done repeatedly on garlic mustard and glossy buckthorn populations. Mowing of the field was followed up by four total days of herbicide application by New England Wildflower.  

Control Method: Manual, Chemical, Mechanical/ mowing

Disposal Method: Brush Pile, Incineration, Removal by New England Wildflower

Detailed Project Timeline:

May 2012- Walden Woods Project and volunteers hand-pulled and bagged garlic mustard. This was completed before plants had mature seeds to prevent dispersal.

May 2012- LSHS student volunteer group manually pulled buckthorn

July-August 2012- field mowed. Hazards were flagged and large shrubs were avoided to be cut and painted later

August 2012- Boston University volunteer group manually pulled buckthorn

September-October 2012- New England Wildflower Staff were hired as contractors to apply herbicide to the field.  Three of four days were completed in the fall. The last was delayed due to weather, and was completed in 2013.
Backpack sprayers used for foliar treatment of oriental bittersweet, young multiflora rose, and young buckthorn.  Used a glyphosate mixture with 1-2% active ingredient. Dye and a non-ionic surfactant (safe for wetland use) were added to the solution to mark treated stems and enable adherence to foliage.
Cut and paint treatments were used for bush honeysuckle, glossy buckthorn, oriental bittersweet, and multiflora rose on forest edge and burning bush penetrating forest edge. A glyphosate mixture was used containing 25-30% active ingredient. A dye was mixed in to mark treated stems.

February 2013- Incineration of invasive material

May 2013- Volunteer garlic mustard pull (28 people for 3 hours)

June 2013- Field mowed again

Was there a restoration component?: No

Restoration summary (if applicable): N/a

Funding Sources: NFWF

Final Acres in Management Area: 1.5

Current Percent Cover Invasive (as of 2017): Only 5-10% cover of  initial targeted species. 15-20% considering newly established invasives.

Final Invasive Distribution Pattern: Invasives throughout the field are mostly gone. Some invasives persist along the forest edge, mainly bittersweet. Garlic mustard has moved in and established in newly created open areas in the field

Any comments or takeaways? Went well. There was a lot of volunteer effort that contributed to the project, which was partially due to the presence of invasives that volunteers could tackle (ie garlic mustard and glossy buckthorn). It was good working with NFWF. In retrospect, it would have potentially been better to extend the treatment area into a forested patch near the field that is dominated by bittersweet to help prevent reseeding of the field.

Is your site open to the public?: Yes

Are you able to provide a tour?: Yes