Invasive species are organisms that are not native to an area, that tend to spread and displace native species, and that have harmful consequences for the environment. Invasive species include animals, plants, and even fungi. In the twentieth century, diseases caused by non-native fungi–accidentally introduced in North America–devastated elm and chestnut trees. Invasive gypsy moths have damaged many other local tree species.
Invasive trees and shrubs are common in our area and threaten to crowd out native plants–wreaking havoc with native ecosystems. The Attleboro Land Trust has launched an invasive removal project focusing on Larson Woodland. At four acres, this is one of our smaller nature preserves. This will serve as a demonstration project, and we hope to apply lessons learned to our other preserves.
A survey of the preserve was conducted by Gary Krofta and Phil Boucher, resulting in a map identifying the invasive species to be targeted and their locations. Longtime watershed protection advocate Don Doucette has been a key advisor. The project was kicked off on Saturday, November 23. Among the volunteers who pitched in was a contingent of Scouts from Attleboro Troop 15.
Oriental bittersweet was removed from the banks of the Ten Mile River near the spillway. The bright red berries (once prized for their decorative value during the winter holidays) were bagged and will be burned to prevent propagation of new plants.
Some large non-native honeysuckle bushes along Riverbank Road were also removed.
Project work parties will continue in the spring. Some of the other species to be targeted are buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and Norway maple. We welcome more volunteers to help with the work.
Lands under our protection as of June 30, 2018: 492 acres owned; 200 acres restricted; 692 acres total.
Click below to read our monthly electronic newsletter, intended for distribution over social media, that includes news of what is happening at our conservation properties, as well as general conservation topics. There are also articles on Attleboro history, with a focus on the Barrows Farm (now the Richardson Preserve) and what seasonal tasks the Barrows family might have been working on as they derived their living from this land 300 years ago. News of the Attleboro Community Garden is also a regular feature.
This publication is being produced by the Education and Outreach Committee of the Attleboro Land Trust, local volunteers, and some of the classes at Attleboro High School.
Contact us if you would like to subscribe to the email version of this newsletter.
A site steward is a volunteer who “adopts” one of the Attleboro Land Trust nature preserves, individually or with a group, such as a group of neighbors, church group, youth group, or fraternal organization.
Duties of a site steward:
- Walk the property on a regular basis
- Pick up litter
- Report vandalism and violations of ALT regulations
- Help with routine trail maintenance
- Assist with special projects
Membership dues ($25 individual, $50 household) or donations in any amount may be made online to the Attleboro Land Trust here: