News & Events

Readying the Preserve on Marrowstone Island for its Summer Opening

Author: Jefferson Land Trust | 03/21/19

Ivy removal

A volunteer removes the largest invasive English ivy we’ve ever encountered during a work party at the new preserve.

Thanks to funding from the Department of Defense and the generosity of our community, the Land Trust was able to purchase 51 acres on Marrowstone Island on October 31, 2018.

Getting to Know and Caring for the Preserve

Since then, we’ve been getting to know the property and our new neighbors, gathering community input and preferences, and developing the new preserve’s management plan.

Large ivy vine

Carrie Clendaniel displays a portion of the ivy vine removed from the new preserve.

To learn about the property, staff members and volunteers have worked to map the land’s important habitat features — the wetlands, downed trees, and old large standing trees. Additionally, we’ve completed a forest assessment and identified areas in need of attention because of noxious weed infestations.

In tackling some of the weed issues, we’ve held two winter stewardship work parties where volunteers have worked hard to remove invasive weeds and trash. In fact, at our second work party, volunteers removed the largest ivy plant we’ve ever encountered. English ivy is usually a vine; this one was the size of a tree trunk and put up quite a battle. The monster had branched into multiple arm-sized vines that were all pulling hard on a Douglas Fir tree. The plan is to keep an eye on it and respond if the ivy begins to re-sprout.

Huge thanks go out to the Marrowstone Island Foundation for providing lunch at our work parties.

Developing the Plan for the Preserve

In developing the Preserve’s management plan, we surveyed community members, consulted neighbors, reviewed the biological survey conducted by volunteer Marrowstone Island naturalists, and convened a science advisory group.

Every property owned by the Land Trust has a management plan that details priority ecological functions and features, the desired future condition, long-term goals and objectives, and short-term actions for the land.

At the Marrowstone Island Community Association (MICA) meeting on March 18, Richard Tucker, our executive director, and Carrie Clendaniel, our preserve manager, reported back to the community on input received, as well as the ecological and social goals, management objectives, site plan design, and next step actions for the preserve.

Carrie also introduced a young Marrowstone Island eagle scout who has volunteered to build our trailhead kiosk and lead his troop in a summer stewardship work party to help us care for the preserve.

Next Steps

This spring, Land Trust staff will be working with contractors to help create the trailhead. Additionally, two volunteer work parties are set for May 14 and June 1 (RSVPs required). The focus of those work parties will be building trails to prepare the Preserve for its public opening — currently set for late June.

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