Willisbrook Preserve Workday
Today we had a Land Stewardship workday at Willisbrook Preserve, a site in Chester County that has globally-unique habitat on Serpentine Barrens. We were removing invasives from an outcrop of barrens above a parking lot on an adjacent landowner’s property. The site had once been used as a dump (so we still have to remove some demolition fill that comes from a time before our ownership) and had become overgrown with undesirable invasive species: shrub honeysuckle, autumn olive, buckthorn, crabapple, bittersweet, multiflora rose, and privet.
There is a fence at the base of the outcrop and we found it easiest to chainsaw the base of the shrubs and rotate them head-over-heels, over the fence and into the parking lot.
It is a very steep bank and not the easiest work.
Then we ran the brush through the chipper. This area will be cleared more to expose the unique serpentine soils and will likely be managed with prescribed fire. It looks a little messy right now but this is one of those cases, “To make an omelet…” It is turning the worst part of the preserve (literally, a dump) into a showcase of native grasslands.
Posted by Daniel Barringer on February 28, 2013.