Project Leader: Stephanie Orlando Project Dates: February 7th - August 5th Email Address: email@example.com Telephone Number: 208-914-0388 Address: 100 National Park Rd. Hopkins, SC 29061
Chapter 11: Congaree
This week the crew finished up their long season with a home stretch at Congaree National Park. They had their last licks at one of their most challenging invasive plant species, Chinese Wisteria, as well as at an old friend, the native yet aggressive Sweet Gum. Unfortunately, due to unidentified allergen difficulties, crew guru Megan Tacey was unable to join us in the field, however, she lived vicariously through our efforts.
The crew spent two days working at a new site that was once a homestead. This site had been treated in years previous, and the damage inflicted on the area was apparent by the massive scars marring the loblolly pine trees. Fortunately, it looked as if prior treatment was effective, as the Chinese Wisteria was only seen in ground cover and very small vines. The crew was lucky enough to be joined by two other SCA interns, a photographer by the name of Ted and an environmental educator by the name of Rachel. They very kindly helped cart our gear to the field and documented our efforts photographically.
The crew spent their final day of fieldwork battling sweet gum in order to make room for long leaf pine saplings. Once again two SCA interns from Congaree joined the crew, the returning champion Ted, and a challenging environmental education intern named Mike. The two duked it out rather impressively given the heat index was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and with their help the crew made plenty of room for the long leaf pine babies.
The crew was also able to spend a few hours working with park interns on soil sample analysis. Mike and Peter, a Clemson geology student, showed us how to examine soil samples to find organic matter such as sticks, seeds, or charcoal that could be sent in for carbon dating and determine the age of different parts of the Congaree River.
It was a satisfying ending to an amazing six months of travel and fieldwork. It has been a life changing experience and we loved sharing our trials and tribulations with you! We hope you enjoyed our stories, and don’t despair, there are more to come from the upcoming Southeast Coast Exotic Plant Management Team, pending financial stability and the survival of fiscal rationality in this Great Nation we call home.
The Southeast Coast Exotic Management Team of Spring 2011
Tori, Rob, Megan, and Stephanie