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11
Apr

A recap of the UES Spring Invasives Workshop

This past Sunday, April 6, 2014, nearly forty enthusiastic volunteers attended the Spring Invasives Workshop in Lower Frick Park offered by NMRWA and the Buy tadalafil canada. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for Jake Baechle, Volunteer Coordinator for the Parks Conservancy, and Paul Yanulavich, Urban EcoSteward Coordinator and Arborist for NMRWA, to talk about the Generic viagra uk pharmacy and the importance of invasive plant removal and its connection to biodiversity.

For example, did you know that many plants from the nursery that people use in their gardens are specifically bred to be pest-free? Unfortunately, many of these plants find their way into Pittsburgh’s parks, where they have an unfair advantage over native plants.

While these invasive, pest-free plants are problematic for numerous reasons, one big one is that they affect the reproduction and survival of butterflies and moths. Butterflies and moths are not only unable to eat these plants, but they also are unable to lay their eggs on them, since they will ultimately need to be eaten by the young caterpillars.

The monarch butterfly’s life cycle is closely tied to seasonal growth of milkweed, the only plant its larvae will eat. These pictures are from Frick Park! (Photos: John Moyer)

The monarch butterfly’s life cycle is closely tied to seasonal growth of milkweed, the only plant its larvae will eat. These pictures are from Frick Park!
(Photos: John Moyer)

One example of note is the monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies’ main food source are native milkweed plants in the US & Mexico. Milkweed is the only plant Monarchs will lay their eggs on, which unfortunately is vanishing at a rapid rate, particularly in the Great Plains states along the Monarch butterfly’s migration route, due to increased use of herbicides. Kamagra oral jelly kaufen holland – at their peak in the 1990’s, Monarch butterflies occupied 45 acres of forest in the Mexican mountains; this past year they covered only 1.65 acres!

This lack of food and reproductive space for Monarchs as well as numerous other butterfly and moth species in turn affects bird populations. Adult birds can eat the berries of invasive plants, but their babies can only eat the soft butterfly and moth larvae usually found on the native plants these invasives are replacing.

Not all is gloom and doom, however. As participants at Sunday’s workshop learned, we can slow the rate of extinction and boost biodiversity and the food web by planting native plants, like milkweed, in our own backyards (and in the parks), and by removing the invasives that are taking their place.

Although not many plants (native or invasive) were coming up quite yet because of the late arrival of Spring, the group did manage to find plenty of emerging goutweed, garlic mustard, and mugwort plants to remove, and, as always, plenty of vines to cut away from our beautiful, native trees.

Thanks to all the Urban EcoStewards and other volunteers who helped to make the day a success, and to Jake Baechle and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Naturalist Mike Cornell for their knowledge, leadership, and insight.

31
Mar

The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) is honored to announce that Larry Patchel was selected as a Buy orlistat cheap online. This award highlights inspirational volunteers in action who have made a contribution to urban forestry by improving community trees and the neighborhoods where they live.

Larry stands with a Chestnut tree he planted.

Larry stands with a Chestnut tree he planted.

Pantoprazol 40 mg günstig kaufen is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. To date, over 5 million volunteers from ACTrees member organizations (including NMRWA) have planted more than 15 million trees across the country.

NMRWA nominated Larry for this award because he is a truly exceptional volunteer that encourages people from different backgrounds and groups to work together as a community. Larry uses his charm and vast horticultural knowledge and experience to teach others about proper tree planting and pruning techniques, soil composition, plant taxonomy, proper tool usage, and safety.

“Volunteers are the heart of local tree nonprofits, providing the resources and energy that make tree planting and care possible,” says Carrie Gallagher, ACTrees Executive Director. “Larry Patchel models the ideals of stewardship, giving, professionalism, and leadership.”

Larry works with tree planting volunteers. “One of my objectives is to make Pittsburgh the place where more trees are planted at different locations than any other place” – Larry Patchel

Larry works with tree planting volunteers. “One of my objectives is to make Pittsburgh the place where more trees are planted at different locations than any other place” – Larry Patchel

Whether he is identifying poison ivy for kids at the high school rain garden, digging tree holes with students from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, or advocating for trees at the Boys and Girls Club of Wilkinsburg, Larry’s hands-on, contagious, and charismatic style is well-known in this small Pittsburgh community.

Larry is an active member of the American Chestnut Foundation, helping to hybridize Chinese and American chestnuts, and tending to the seedlings until they become trees. He sets up a tent each year at the Phipps Conservatory Plant Sale and sharpens pruners and other tools to benefit the Men’s Garden Club of Pittsburgh, of which he is a member. He also attended all of the tree plantings from the 500 Tree Initiative in Wilkinsburg implemented by NMRWA.

Brenda Smith, Executive Director of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association says, “We are very lucky to have Larry as a dedicated and passionate volunteer of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. He continues to work hard to improve his community. Larry embodies ACTrees’ mission of ‘improving the environment and community – one tree at a time’. We are excited to acknowledge Larry’s dedication and hard work through the ACTrees Volunteer of the Year nomination”.

 

We want to thank Larry for his dedication to and passion for our work.

Larry stands with an oak tree, one of the largest oldest trees in the borough of Wilkinsburg.

Larry stands with an oak tree, one of the largest oldest trees in the borough of Wilkinsburg.

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