Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day 2009 – invasive removal at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Queens NY…

On Sunday, I volunteered with NYC Audubon on an Earth Day initiative at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The project was to remove invasive shrubs mainly “Buckthorn”. I was very keen on this project because of my love for JBWR and also I had a role in organizing the event. The concept of the project got off the ground during the 2008 Christmas Bird count event in Central Park. During that event, I had a discussion with an Audubon representative who indicated that they were looking for possible sites to fulfill an obligation that required restoration projects in partnership with Together Green. Being very fond of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, I nominated the site and things just took off from there. I got to JBWR around 8:30 am and being always on the lookout for my feathered friends, I spotted Savannah Sparrows in front of the visitor’s center. I took some time out to take some photos. As I was putting away my camera, I saw a friend of mine arriving, Ron Borque who is an avid birder and naturalist. Ron, I learned was going to participate in the project and wanted get an early start. I was of the same opinion and so we checked in with the rangers got our tools and headed out to the West Pond Trail. Ron and I tackled our spot with zest and soon we had a nice pile of cut brush. In fact one of the rangers came by and told us we were working too fast (jokingly of course). By 10:00 am other volunteers began to trickle in. I gathered volunteers together and gave them a short spiel on the objective and did a demo on using the tools. We were mainly using weed wrenches and loppers to tackle the project. By 11:00 NYC Audubon personnel arrived; though…far fewer than the 50 or so volunteers that I heard were going to be in attendance. Nevertheless, we had a good turnout with about 45-50 people, most were American Littoral Society members, locals and folks who were just frequent visitors at the refuge. The group worked very hard and we put in a good 5-6 hours of work with only stoppages for water and lunch, which was provided by NYC Audubon. Everyone received a pin and a bandana as a token of appreciation for their efforts, but most people were just happy taking care of a place we all love. Click here to see photos from the event. Share with SociBook.com Bookmark and Share

2 comments:

Kayleigh said...

Hahahaha. Fabulous.

BIRDINGDUDE said...

I figure you would get a chuckle ...what can I say, it is that infectious smile of yours:) Anyway, thank you for being such a positive presence at the refuge. It is always nice to see and chat with you. Maybe sometime soon we will do some birding. BTW, yesterday after I went back to the South and North gardens with Kantha (sp), we added 4 more birds to our list. The highlight was a "Blue winged Warbler"; check back later for a report and photos from the day.