Making Progress

Written by Byron Brooks, Invasives Specialist

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The area under the large river birch tree near the RRANC offices is a constructed wetland. It was installed many years ago as a demonstration using nature to clean the wastewater coming from the Visitor Center and offices. Over the years, the assemblage of plants present there has changed, resulting in a poorly functioning wastewater treatment apparatus. In 2019, RRANC decided to restore the constructed wetland to its original function. Part of that restoration involves the removal of all the plants presently found there and replacing them with native wetland species. We have also removed the boardwalk that had become unsafe and will be reseeding the exposed dirt area where the boardwalk once stood.
During the growing season of 2020, restoration activities started. Non-native plant species like giant reed (Arundo donax) and Asian bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) were treated with herbicide and once withered, removed from the site. In the early fall of 2020 the remaining plant litter was burned. In the future, native wetland species such as cattails (Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia) and broadleaf arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) will be planted to restore the function of the constructed wetland. 
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