The Invasive species removal day was a huge success for both Montini Preserve and the Overlook Trail. In total, 10 crew and volunteers came out to the event, including my Enviroleader Teen crew members and veteran Volunteer Roy Tennant.
The group met up at the Montini Water Tanks and dispersed into 3 smaller teams, each equipped with their heavy-duty trash bags as well as a handheld GPS device. In addition to pulling up primarily Yellow Star Thistle, each group documented the location and approximate size of the outbreaks on their digital way points. This information is being transferred to the Sonoma Ecology Center’s Geographical Information staff to be documented and mapped. This is crucial baseline measurement to determine if/and where we are making progress on fighting back the noxious plants from the Preserve. “We are depleting the seed bank each season and things will get easier and easier from here on in until complete eradication”said Roy.
Additionally, some of the other invasive plants like Harding Grass have already gone to seed this season but the mapping will give our staff and volunteer crew a jump on locations for 2017 that can be noted on the map below.
The primary locations that we dedicated our weeding towards was the rip-rap culvert adjacent to the Water Tanks fire road, the meadow at the Intersection of Spotted Fawn and Rattlesnake Cutoff and some really bad meadows along Norrbom Road on the cusp of both Montini and Overlook.
As Roy put it, “I think it is safe to say that the YST on Montini is virtually gone (this year)…This also means that for the second season running we will have completely eradicated it.”
A huge thank you goes out to Roy for his ongoing efforts in weed management. Your quietly diligent efforts at fighting back Yellow Star Thistle at the Montini and Overlook properties for the benefit of both hikers and habitat should not go unnoticed. A thank you to Joanna for getting the word out and supporting the Montini Preserve Volunteer efforts.
Look for other outreach events at the Montini Preserve coming later this fall!