Week two gave us a great opportunity to work alongside two NPS bio-techs, Vaso and Steve, and collect seed for the native plant Carex stricta. This allowed us to see additional phases of the plants’ life cycle as well as the National Park’s restoration efforts. Unfortunately some of the seeds were diseased and this set back our collecting efforts. As of now the park is unsure of how the disease is transmitted, hopefully with more research the problem can be resolved.
We also planted Carex utriculata and Carex atherodes in the Great Marsh. These plants were propagated at the NPS greenhouse and prepared for planting by our SCA team the week before.
The following day we spent the morning transplanting Carex stricta and the afternoon planting in Cowles bog. This gave us another opportunity to work with the NPS bio-techs and also with Jayben. Jayben is a high school biology teacher working with the park this summer to create a new high school biology curriculum in the area and give high school children more opportunities within the park. Working with additional bio-techs and park staff allowed the team to be more productive but also complicated the data collection process.
The next day we transplanted even more Carex stricta and rebuilt plant beds outside of the greenhouse to eventually hold the Carex stricta growing trays. After lunch we returned to the Great Marsh to plant alongside the park bio-techs. Following the instruction of the park botanist, Dan Mason, we planted a variety of species in small populations. The area of the Great Marsh we worked in Thursday was particularly beautiful and we spent time watching the monarch butterflies fly around the milkweed plants throughout the marsh. Week two was very productive as we were able to plant every day. The team was able to plant 6,168 plants over three days in week two.