Mugwort, foxglove and barberry…oh my!
We continue our Young N’ Wild series with Amara Huddleston, a participant in the 2013 Career Discovery Internship Program, which is a partnership between the Service and the Student Conservation Association. Amara is working at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex this year to help control invasive species on Long Island refuges. Check out an entry from her blog on how she’s helping native plants and animals survive.
I’m sure not too many people know about the plant names listed on my blog title. Heck, even I didn’t until I got here! But those are names of some pretty common invasive plant species found here on Long Island. My primary job is to map and treat the many invasive plant species we find at the different refuges by pulling or cutting them. So yes, technically I am weeding!
People probably think I’m crazy for coming all the way from Detroit to Long Island to weed but invasive plants are the worst of the weeds! They can change the pH of soils, compete with native plants for habitat and many of them aren’t very insect or animal friendly. So my job is quite important for the sustainability of the ecosystem!
Invasive species aren’t only plants on land, there are aquatic ones too, like water chestnut. It floats on top of the water and once enough of them pop up, they smother the aquatic community. No plants or fish underneath it can receive sunlight or proper nutrients.
But guess who hopped in a kayak and came to the rescue?! I did!
We went out on Mill Pond, which was densely covered with the chestnut last year, to check on things and see if any plants had popped up. There were plants but not nearly as bad as it was the year before, which is great!
|Follow Amara on the rest of her journey this summer!|
I did my job and pulled for my life, and picked up a damselfly larvae in the process!