Conservation Project: Cane

Our next conservation project did not have as much information as the first. We met Park Ranger Shea at an Army Corps site as she drove up with a truck. “Look! I got water!” she said. We were all eternally grateful for that. There was a heat wave coming to Georgia. I had brought along a friend to help and with that, we hopped into the back of her truck and drove off. The area was used for bow hunting and big sections of trees were cut down to let the hunters shoot. It looked like wide plains of wild grass to me. She stopped at a corner of the field and let us out. “Now we have to go across this creek so everyone will have to cross this bridge.” She said. I looked that the bridge. It was a pipe with concrete enforcements. We walked across and then Shea told us about our project. The river cane is a plant that is endangered in the state of Georgia. It used to be all around the fields but have since died off. The conservation project is to track all river cane that we see via GPS, note the shape, density, and size of the area, and write down any extra notes. Then, they will cut parts off of the mother plant and transplant them so that they will grow. Lynn and I walked along the left side of the field seeing nothing. “Is that it?” I asked. “No,” said Lynn. This kept going on for a while. We finally got closer towards the creek and then a plethora of cane popped out at us. “River cane! It is by the water!” We should have known better. We walked along the creek and spotted river cane after river cane. When we met up with everyone we noted that there are a bunch all along the creek side. We all walked along some trails with each other and just saw river cane all along the area. Shea noted that we probably don’t have to take separate GPS tracking, but that there will be plenty of them to cut plants off of. We walked around some more around trails and called it a day. Overall the day was very pleasant strolling around the area looking for an endangered plant that was abundant enough to spot.