The Hinesburg Invasive Team (HIT) was formed in January 2011 as a cooperative group of concerned citizens ranging from residents of Hinesburg, the Hinesburg Conservation Commission, Hinesburg Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Green Mountain Audubon Society. HIT is focused on education and action to address invasive terrestrial plants on private and public lands. The cooperative has developed plans to help control invasive plants at Geprag’s Park on Shelburne Falls Road and on the Russell Farm in the village although these aren’t exclusive projects as HIT is interested in lending a helping hand to private landowners and other organizations interested in learning about and managing invasive plants in Hinesburg.
Hinesburg Invasive Team has held several educational workshops to acquaint residents with the threats that invasive plants present not only statewide, but also at the town and individual landowner level. We have hosted a hands-on workshop at Geprag’s Park that was led by Mark LaBar from Green Mountain Audubon Society and Sharon Plumb from TNC. In October, twenty burning bush shrubs were eliminated in Lyman Park and were replaced with black chokeberry. HIT has had poster displays at Green Up Day and the Fall Festival and a current poster at the Carpenter Carse Library.
Protecting Public Assets
Geprag’s Park provides important habitat for several declining shrubland song bird species and the threatened golden-winged warbler. The composition and size of the open fields, shrubs and mixed hardwoods provides food, cover and nesting opportunities that are disappearing from the Chittenden County landscape. The invasive plants are beginning to dominate this site and are pushing out the native plants that the birds and other wildlife depend on. HIT is currently working on a management plan for this property and work on removing the invasive plants will begin this spring. Keep your eyes peeled as many hands will be needed to take on this project.
This farmland is conserved land and a superb Hinesburg resource. There is a public trail system that meanders through a mature hardwood forest and current sugarbush owned and managed by the Russell and Donegan families, open pasture land for livestock, overgrown pasture land, and crop land. This diverse farm is also excellent habitat for a variety of species, both flora and fauna. The rich soils provide spectacular and abundant spring wildflower displays and the mature forest and shrubs provides great birding opportunities. Both the farm operation and the native plants on this land are being threatened by a multitude of invasive plants. Barberry, burning bush and Norway maple have been creeping into the forest and fields from adjoin properties and are starting to grow so thickly that it is difficult for native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to survive.
Invasive plants are a threat to forest health and productivity. Learn what you can do by joining us for an upcoming wokrshop, or joining the HIT. We meet monthly to plan activities.Meetings will be posted on the town website and are held at the Hinesburg Town Hall. Join us at upcoming workshops and volunteer days.
In late winter 2012 a Winter Tree and Shrub Indentiificaiton Workshop will be held, This event will teach you how to identify invasive species, and other ornamental and native species of trees and shrubs. We will be flagging and labeling examples of the invasive species to help us get started in the spring with more active removal. There will be several work days starting in the April 201, look for details in the coming weeks. Work days will involve cutting trees and shrubs, hauling the brush.
You can learn more about invasives at www.vtinvasives.org . Workshops , removal days and other upcoming events will be posted on this site and on Front Porch Forum as well as the town website. If you want more information please contact Liz Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org