Town of Stow’s Japanese Stiltgrass Project

Name: Jacqui Goring  Organization: Stow Conservation Commission  Phone: (978) 897-8615

Site location:
Stow Town Forest, Heath Hen, and Flagg Hill conservation areas

Basic property description:

All of the properties are wooded with public access.

Management area 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

Acres in the management area: 1.25  Listed on EDDMaps? Yes

Habitat type: Mixed Forest

Was this Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)? Yes

Initial Overall Invasive Distribution Description:

The 9'x9' plot in the 365.5 acre Town Forest was about 50% cover. In the 98 acre Flagg Hill, both the 5'x5' plot and the 40'x40' plot were roughly 100% cover.

Initial Overall Percent Cover of Invasives: 51 - 75%

Target species:

Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)  

Management objectives:

Eradicate 3 the three patches to prevent spread by trail users or by waterways.

Approximate project start date: August 12, 2015

Years this project has been ongoing:

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, Mechanical

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.

Funding sources: CISMA grant

Final acres in management: 1.25

Open to the public: Yes

Able to Provide Tours: Yes

Success Rate:

Current Overall Percent Cover of Invasives: 0 - 5%

Comments / 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.

Last Updated: September 12, 2015