Partner Projects Updates

Many SuAsCo CISMA partners have active projects involving invasive species. This page is dedicated to sharing the work being done throughout the SuAsCo watershed. All the CISMA partners are welcome to participate.

 

Westford Conservation Trust Does Another Mile-a-Minute Pull

The Westford Conservation Trust recently pulled Mile-A-Minute vines (MAM). The work is their 7th effort and it occurred at Lowell Rd Site on August 25. Eleven volunteers, including two boy scouts doing community service, made a thorough search of the known MAM locations at the site. Vines were harder to find. Some were just germinating and 1.5 inches tall while 10' long multi-branched vines were also pulled. The good news was that no fully matured fruits were found on any of the vines. The other good news was that the developer of the Laughton Farms had the remaining rubble banks along the brook landscaped into more natural contours. Thank you Chris Finneral.

After surveying the known sites, a survey was conducted up-stream and down-stream of those sites. The not so good news was that two New Westford MAM Discoverednew sites were found. The first new site was in the backyard of the adjoining property at 24 Providence Rd. The second new site was on the banks of the irrigation pond of the Laughton Farms development. The MAM was cleared from the pond site and plans were made to contact the property owner of 24 Providence Rd and request permission to remove the vines there.

New MAM found a Westford b

 

Water Chestnut Pullathon for 2012

Water chestnut control is an on-going project on the rivers and ponds in the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers watershed in eastern Massachusetts. The invasive aquatic plant forms dense mats on the surface of shallow, quiet water and chokes out native vegetation. Its seeds remain viable in the soil for up to 12 years, so control efforts are long-term. This year we partnered with our local annual river celebration in June and turned chestnut pulling into a contest – our first Annual Water Chestnut Pullathon! We challenged high school-aged students to compete with other sites to pull the most water chestnut they possibly could. Volunteers gathered at three sites in three different towns. What better way to spend a summer morning than canoeing, kayaking, and pulling some weeds?

students from local schools, including Lincoln-Sudbury, Acton-Boxborough, Concord-Carlisle, and Hudson High participated as well as several girls from a Concord Girl Scout troop.

Ultimately, our volunteers in Acton took home the prize, but not without a good run for their money!

 

Galerucella Beetle Project for Purple Loosestrife Bio-control for 2012

Beginning in late March 2012, Great Meadows and Assabet River National Wildlife Refuges partnered with a Student Conservation Association / National Park Service Fellow to raise Galerucella beetles for the members of the SuAsCo CISMA. The beetle laden plants raised at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center were distributed to a number of CISMA members. We  estimated that we were able to rear between 17,000 and 33,000 beetles.

View full report (PDF)

Galerucella Beetle Rearing Report and Guide (PDF - 471 kb)

More discussion on the blog:  http://www.suascorivers.blogspot.com

 

Foundation Funding Helps SVT Combat Invasive Species

Thanks to a $30,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sudbury Valley Trustees can move forward with invasive plant control and habitat restoration at Greenways Conservation Area in Wayland and the Desert Natural Area in Sudbury and Marlborough.  

This is part of a larger $70,000 grant that supports the work of the SuAsCo CISMA, a regional collaboration of federal, state, nonprofit, and municipal organizations formed to manage invasive species in the watershed.

Read more

 

The Wayland Surface Water Quality Committee (WSWQC) manages invasive weed control in Wayland’s three great ponds.

 

  1. In Heard Pond (90 acres) over the past nine years a water chestnut infestation has been brought under control through several years of mechanical harvesting combined with intensive hand pulling. The biomass removed has decreased from about 1,200,000 lbs/yr in 2003 to fewer than 1,000 lbs in 2011. Hand pulling alone should suffice to maintain the pond’s quality in the future. Contracted hand pulling is being used given the difficulty of removal in several areas of the pond.
  2. In Dudley Pond (84 acres) Eurasian milfoil has been a persistent invasive weed. The pond is shallow pond and has an estimated 1-yr turnover. WSWQC has tried substantially every solution available over the past thirty years, most with little success. At present, the weeds have been brought under control by (a) first, a Sonar treatment to reduce biomass substantially, followed by extensive hand pulling; and (b) a continuing second phase of Triclopyr spot treatment with ongoing, continual hand pulling. The key to control is hand pulling of essentially all old root crowns as these are not killed by herbicide treatment. WSWQC is now focusing on nutrient reduction from stormwater and the large number of septic systems adjacent the pond.
     
  3. North Pond (195 acres) of Lake Cochituate is a deep pond with a rapid turnover. Eurasian milfoil fragments are continually introduced by water flow from the upstream Middle Pond. This makes effective control problematic. Wayland and Framingham participate in a cost-shared program with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for pond maintenance.

The program has several elements:

  • (a) mechanically harvesting channels in Middle Pond for boats to follow to enter North Pond; minimizing fragment introduction;
  • (b) installation of a milfoil fragment capture net at the entrance to North Pond;
  • (c) spot treatment of heavily infested areas with herbicide; and
  • (d) additional hand pulling in intensive use areas. The program’s objective is to maintain the pond in a state acceptable for the diverse public uses.