It is impossible for the edge of Larson Woodland on Riverbank Road to absorb the huge amount of leaves that fall each year. It takes a crew of volunteers to rake and remove the leaves in order to keep the edge of the woodland walkable. Fortunately, a great group of volunteers answered the call on Friday, December 11, and the job was done. The leaves were used to help control erosion on a slope facing the Ten Mile River.
Thanks to everyone who helped in this annual effort.
Staff and volunteers from the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council in Rhode Island paid a visit to the Attleboro Land Trust’s Larson Woodland on September 17 to take a census of fish species in the Ten Mile River. They came at the invitation of Keith Gonsalves of the Ten Mile River Watershed Council. Keith has long been concerned about the health of the river and its inhabitants and has been arranging these scientific surveys annually for a number of years to monitor the river’s condition.
Volunteers helped collect the fish, using a device which temporarily stuns the fish with a slight electric shock. The fish are counted and measured, then returned unharmed to the river.
In this video clip, ranger Jacob Gorke measures a baby largemouth bass.
This is a Yellow Bullhead Catfish.
Other species found in the river were Golden shiner, Tesselated darter, Pumpkin seed, Bluegill, Redfin pickerel, Crawfish, and Chain pickerel.
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.
On August 10 Ben Cote of Friends of the Ten Mile led a walk along a portion of the Ten Mile River in Attleboro, beginning at Larson Woodland. Ben explained the pivotal role the river played in the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, when factories were built alongside the river and dams were created with water wheels providing a source of mechanical power. In the 20th century, the river also became a convenient place to dump industrial waste, until environmental awareness eventually took hold. Today it is illegal to dump waste into the river, but stormwater running off lawns carries fertilizers into the river, leading to algae blooms which rob fish of oxygen.
As the group moved up the watershed towards the Water Street bridge, it was joined by longtime watershed advocate Don Doucette, who shared some of his knowledge of the river and its history.
Guided Walk: Getting to Know Your Watershed
Location: Larson Woodland, corner of Watson Avenue and Riverbank Road (across from Willett School), Attleboro
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, August 10 (Rain date: August 11)
Chances are that a drop of rain falling in Attleboro will eventually find its way to the Ten Mile River, which runs through the center of the city, then flows into the Seekonk River, which eventually flows into Narragansett Bay. Ben Cote, of Friends of the Ten Mile, will host this introduction to the river. He will explain the importance of the river and its watershed to past, present, and future generations, as well as to the plants and animals that thrive in its habitat.
On September 22, volunteers from the Ten Mile River Watershed Council assisted ranger Jacob Gorke of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council of Rhode Island in conducting a survey of fish species in the Ten Mile River at Larson Woodland.
The fish are stunned temporarily with an electric shock, netted and removed to be identified, then released back to the river. The survey is conducted annually.
This is just one of many activities conducted year round by the Ten Mile River Watershed Council to promote and protect the river. For more information, contact Keith Gonsalves Keith@tenmileriver.net.