you're reading...

Campus News

Stream diversion by MACFC

Chase Cerbin, Staff Writer (ccerbin@wwc)

This fall, the Farm Crew set out to restore the landscape surrounding a stream by Dam Pasture.

Five decades ago the stream was dug into and emptied, but the huge piles of soil called ‘spoils’ that had been removed from the stream weren’t taken care of properly. They were left upon the bank of the stream. As a result, trees and invasive species were left to sprout. Over the following decades, according to Farm Crew Supervisor Chase Hubbard, “the area became a wasteland.”

Eleven years ago, Farm Crew began the restoration project by clearing the invasive species, then this fall the crew started again by “removing some trees, grading the area, and giving the stream bank a natural slope instead of a steep cut,” according to Hubbard.

In the next step of the project, the crew intends to build a fence along the stream and plant mulberry, birch, pecan, black walnut, and other species of trees along the bank.

“Long term the project represents a major improvement for both the stream and the pasture,” Hubbard said. “There will be a new fence to keep the cattle out of the stream and biodiversity will be increased.”

“Areas directly adjacent to streams are known as riparian zones,” explains Brian Olechnowski, Professor of Environmental Studies. “These Riparian zones are very important habitat for wildlife… Invasive species have the potential to take-over the vegetation of these riparian zones, leaving a monoculture in its place. This may have very negative effects on species that depend on riparian zones for food and habitat. Therefore, planting a variety of native species along the streambank will increase the vegetative… variety of the habitat and create better environments for wildlife species.”


No comments yet.

Post a Comment

Stories by Category