Hello everyone, my name is Zoe and I am one of your North Woods Stewards for the summer of 2018! Our first week was jammed packed with lots of fun tasks that I would love to share with you all.
Our first day was spent exploring the woods. As we walked the trails, we noted tasks that needed to get done such as clearing fallen down trees and marking particularly muddy spots to construct water blocks. Along the way, we discovered a lot of cute friends and some awesome mushrooms!
On our second day, Bob Jones, a former Skidmore economics professor and a local historian, gave us a tour of the woods. On this tour we learned a lot about the history of the woods. Some of my favorite facts from the tour are that the red and blue trails use to be carriage trails, which is why they are so wide and gravely; the water tower is so tall because it is necessary to create enough pressure to get water to the top floors of Jonsson Tower; and at the tallest point on the blue trail, when the leaves have fallen you can see the Green Mountains in Vermont 42 miles away!
The third day we dove right into one of our big tasks for the summer, invasive species removal. We spent the morning pulling garlic mustard from the red trail near the power lines. As we removed each plant, we used hand-held GPS devices to mark the location of each plant. Throughout the summer we will use this information to make an updated map of the invasive species in the North Woods.
We spent the fourth day doing trail maintenance. We deconstructed 3 campfires, picked up trash and removed fallen trees from the trails. In addition, we also laid tree branches down at a spot on the spirit trail, called corduroy, that gets particularly flooded during rain events to make the trail easier and safer to walk on when it’s wet.
It was rainy on the last day of the week, so we figured it was the perfect time to spend indoors in the GIS lab downloading the points we collected from our invasive species removal and brainstorming community events to host this summer in the woods.
It was such a great first week, I am excited to see what the rest of the summer holds! I hope to see you all in the woods and at some of our events this summer!