Service in the Preserves has been busy, and we’d like your help!  We are a part of Columbus Audubon, and our work trips take volunteers to many beautiful places that most people don’t get to see. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. If you’d like to help us, please follow the link at the end of this report.

On Saturday, November 6th, Service in the Preserves went on a work trip to McCracken Fen State Nature Preserve. We had multiple tasks to accomplish that day.

Old Tires Cleaned From McCraken Fen SNP
Old tires cleared from the woods at McCracken Fen SNP

One group started on a cleanup project. Before the area was dedicated as a preserve, it was the site of a peat mining operation and a lot of debris was left behind. Despite multiple previous cleanups, we loaded a full dumpster of trash remnants and recovered from the woods a dozen old tires.

Another group focused on invasive species. The unique wetland community needs protection from woody vegetation and, especially, from the spread of the Oriental bittersweet (an aggressive invasive vine). We removed layers of woody invasive species from trails. Much Oriental bittersweet met its demise!

Augering Post Holes For Fence at McCraken Fen SNP
Augering post holes for a parking lot fence at McCracken Fen SNP

The most dedicated volunteers were busy installing a fence for a new parking lot. Digging holes for posts was non-trivial as the area is comprised of rocky glacial deposits. A power auger and spud bars helped and by the end of the day seven posts have been installed and cemented.

It was a very satisfying workday and it really felt like we were making a positive difference. We enjoyed good company and a gorgeous day, sunny and cool. We ate our lunches on the work site and walked to the gorgeous kettle lake. On the way back to Columbus we stopped at an ice-cream shop (the group’s long-time tradition).

Relaxing At McCraken Fen SNP
Relaxing after satisfying day’s work at McCracken Fen SNP. Th ice cream stop was a bit later!

This trip is over, but many others are planned. On January 22, we will work in Siegenthaler Esker SNP on one of everybody’s favorite projects – the winter burn! If you would like to join us, check out our calendar and sign up.