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Willisbrook Preserve Workday

February 28, 2013

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.

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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.

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It is a very steep bank and not the easiest work.

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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.

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Posted by Daniel Barringer on February 28, 2013.

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