Peak & Prairie
April / May 1998
Wetland Work Projects for Spring and Summer 1998
by Betty Jo Page, Water Quality Committee
The Rocky Mountain Chapter's Water Quality Committee has been working on two continuing projects, one on the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt and the other at the Sawhill Ponds Open Space near Boulder. The Sawhill Ponds Open Space is located 1/2 mile north and west of the intersection of 75th St. and Valmont Rd. In 1996, we participated in a Boulder Open Space Earth Day event at Sawhill Ponds, where Committee members were introduced to a wonderful tool called a weed wrench. With the weed wrench, seven people removed over 50 small russian olive trees (diameters from 0.5 to 3 inches) and planted five root-ball cottonwood trees in less than three hours. We got hooked and returned to the Ponds in May and June, then repeated the project in April, May and June of 1997. In 1998, participants will practice plant propagation and learn how to deal with a greater variety of exotic noxious plants.
On Saturday, April 4, 9-12 AM, Committee members and any interested others will take cuttings from cottonwood trees in the Open Space and store them by shallow burial for May planting (storage is needed to prevent beavers from eating them!). Any extra time will be devoted to russian olive removal.
On Saturday, April 18th, 9-12 AM, the focus will be Russian Olive removal and possibly some planting of the cottonwood cuttings, depending on the weather.
On Saturday, May 16th, 9-12 AM, the cottonwood cuttings will be planted.
On Saturday, June 20th, 9-12 AM, we will tackle a stand of another invasive exotic, knapweed, on the Open Space. Be prepared to step on, and often into, some very wet soil. Bring durable gloves, a hat, sunscreen and if you want, lunch--the Open Space Dept. supplies all the tools. For more information, or to sign up, please call Kirk Cunningham at (303) 939-8519.
The Wheat Ridge Greenbelt is located on Clear Creek near the intersection of Youngfield St. and W. 39th Ave. The Water Quality Committee began tackling the exotic weed teazel on the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt in August and September of 1996. We were trying to find out how early and late we could remove the teazel seedheads so that the number of plants growing the following year would be reduced. In 1997, we found that cutting off seedheads in September was too late because many of the seeds had fallen off the plants by then, but an earlier cutting seemed to have an effect on the number of plants growing the next year. This year, we think we've "got the number" of the teazel plant!
On Saturday, August 8, 9-12 AM, we will cut down all the teazel at the infested site, bag the seedheads, and enjoy lunch provided by the Coors Brewing Co.
August 29th, 9-12 AM, we will repeat this procedure at a different infestation site in the
same general area. Lunch courtesy of Coors. Be prepared to get your feet wet because the
soil and vegetation tends to be wet. Bring sturdy gloves, a long-sleeve shirt (the teazel
plants are prickly), a hat, some sunscreen and some hand shears or "nippers".
For more information and to sign up, contact Betty Jo Page, (303) 232-9105 (H).