Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 new land stewards

Walbridge students have been visiting the farm over the past six years, but yesterday's visit was a bit different, more special than any of their visits in the past. 

We've dedicated part of our woods to the Walbridge students. As we made the announcement yesterday, it was awesome to see the pride and honor on their faces. They've been to the Farm a number of times, but their whole demeanor shifted when they realized they now had a special place here.  

Joe making the Walbridge Woods announcement.
We started the day off by dodging rain drops as we toured around Walbridge Woods. Arik pointed out different tree species, invasive plants and pests, and introduced various management concepts to the students. 

Arik leading a tour through Walbridge Woods.

They also worked on a tree identification activity, a fun activity that matches leaves to a species. 

Can you identify this species? Kenny can!

After lunch it was time to work! Students helped out stacking firewood, making brush piles and spreading mulch on trails throughout Walbridge Woods. It was demanding tasks, yet the students worked tirelessly. The pride they had for improving their woods was evident! 

(Mostly) controlled chaos.
The day wrapped up by asking the Walbridge crew to make their first management decision in Walbridge Woods. Arik identified three trees that should be cut down for various reasons. He let the students vote on which tree to be cut down, and it was really neat to see them mulling the options and making their own decision. 

The caretakers of Walbridge Woods
We're looking forward to watching the Walbridge Woods grow and improve under the care of its new stewards! 


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