The most important role a volunteer can play is to break new ground, to open our eyes to what needs to be done by doing it. – Leslie Sauer, The Once and Future Forest

Volunteers are welcome to help with trail maintenance, ecological restoration, the kids’ fishing derby or other projects.  If you are interested in any of these projects or would like to help in any other ways, contact us.

Current projects and wish list:

  • Forest restoration – An ongoing project is forest restoration, which consists of removal of exotic invasive plants, replacing them with native plants (including trees and shrubs) where appropriate, and providing protection for new and existing native plants from herbivores. This may involve learning to identify at least a dozen of our most common invasive plants, distinguishing them from similar native plants, and deciding the best way to remove the invasive plants with the least amount of environmental disruption. It also involves decisions about how to discourage the invasive plants from returning, what to replace them with, and how to protect the replacements.
  • American Chestnut planting – In preparation for planting blight-resistant American Chestnut tree seeds, which may not be available for another 3 or 4 years, this Spring we will be planting some individual non-resistant seeds, away from our current American Chestnut orchard. These will act as “mother” trees for the blight-resistant trees when they are available. A blight-resistant seed will be planted adjacent to mother tree. Since the female flowers take more years to develop than male flowers, the mother tree should be producing female flowers by the time the blight-resistant tree produces its first male flowers. This should decrease the number of years that we need to wait to get blight-resistant seeds from our trees.
  • Stair building on trails – Several of our trails have slopes that are too steep and slippery at certain times of the year. A project to research, design, and build some safe and secure trail steps would be a good project for an engineering-minded person. Numerous other trail engineering projects such as water diversion, switch-back improvement, and short-bridge building are also available.
  • Guppy Falls overlook railing – The wooden railing at the overlook to Guppy Falls was replaced by the Scouts of troop 66 in Marcellus during the summer of 2015. It will likely be a long time before it needs any major repair.
  • Fishing derby – The kids’ fishing derby has been held at the fishing pond every year since 2001. Typical volunteers include hook dislodgers, fish measurers, hot dog rollers, traffic controllers, data managers, and tee-shirt dispensers. In 2015, it will be held on July 18th.
  • Trail measuring and marking – Our maps need accurate trail lengths and better ways to distinguish between trails. (There are multiple “red” and “yellow” trails for instance.)

If you are interested in any of these projects or would like to help in any other ways, contact us.