21.4.07

Earth Day at the Environmental Learning Center

For one of my service learning classes, Fundamentals of Natural Resource Management, I had to work with four other classmates and plan the removal of an invasive species from the Envronmental Learning Center.
The ELC is situated on 212 acres of land located approximately three miles east of the main campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, on the banks of the Poudre River. It is managed through CSU's College of Natural Resources, with the staff comprised of mostly CSU students.
The mission of the ELC is "to advance environmental stewardship among students and the community through opportunities for experiential learning, self-study; and educational programs". Our task was to remove Tamarisk/ Salt Cedar from a designated plot of land on the east side of the Poudre River.
Our volunteer group was awesome. One of our volunteers, Bruce, was celebrating his 60th birthday, and for his birthday he asked all of his friends to do volunteer work with him. They were fun, energetic and much more motivated than we were to be pulling little trees out of the ground and painting herbicide on them. Every time they got a tree up from its roots they let out cheers of joy and mo
ved onto the next one with excitement, even though the herbicide was eating through our latex gloves.
Our teaching assistant, who has over 10 years of trail work under his belt, volunteered to run the chainsaw for us. He cut down the Tamarisk clumps with a swiftness, grew weary of their small size and asked if there was anything bigger. I pointed to a Russian Olive, which is also an invasive species, and he set to work with his mini chainsaw cutting down a full size tree just for fun.
In the end we had 5 massive piles of dead Tamarisk leaving the native trees happy with an increased water supply.

OUR GROUP

TRYING TO UPROOT
YEAH HERBICIDE AND HANDSAWSLOPPING AWAY
THE ROOT OF TAMARISK

TEAMWORKTHE GROUP
KATIE AND I
CROSSING THE RIVER

DAVE'S RUSSIAN OLIVE
ANDREW RUNNING THE SAW
ALIDA AND BEN ARE SERIOUS ABOUT TAMARISK REMOVAL

5 comments:

HetchHetchy said...

i love that you are a tree nerd and my best friend. happy earth day! 28 more days!

Jeanne said...

Thank you young lady for helping our world.

kellymcbride said...

you are welcome old lady. you better believe when you get here i am going to hike you out there and show you my hard work.

sock hands said...

i was totally going to photochop a picture of kelly doing kungfu murder tactics on the invasive species trees of doom, but figured that may be wierd.

kellymcbride said...

you should do it sockhands!!!