Another lovely day in the pine bush and what a week last week – it seems like the nice weather is making up for lost time! The new trails out at Blueberry Hill are officially open. Yay! Everything is marked and most of the split rail fences (to close off the old trail system) are in place. We ran out of split rail fencing before we could close everything off that we need to, but I will order more fencing tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be able to finish off the closures soon. In the meanwhile though, the new trails are open, so go and check them out! There are still a few swampy wet areas, but they are shrinking each day, and once it gets dry enough to get vehicles in there we will be attempting to fill in some of the low spots to prevent trail puddles in the future! Seed collection is wrapping up…we have tons of bush clover collected (thanks to Farnsworth Middle School, and the Albany Academies!) and we just need to finish up with the big grasses and horsemint over the next few weeks. Seasonal Staff members, Dave and Tyler, have been continuing along with “clip and drip” herbiciding the black locust re-sprouts, and they recently attended a training course on running pumps for prescribed fire use. For the next few weeks we will be putting the finishing touches on the Blueberry Hill trail system, finishing seed collection, continuing with clip and drip, stockpiling new trail marker posts, and cleaning up the field facilities at 1219 Kings Rd. for winter. Lots to do! Hope that you all are having a great time out there in the preserve, and do go and check out Blueberry Hill!
~Jesse Hoffman, Preserve Steward