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September 26, 2003
Volume 33, Number 264
Division of Parks and Recreation

Contact: Keith Clancy, Delaware Native Plant Society, phone: (302) 674-5187 , e-mail: kclancy@keithclancy.com
 

Volunteers Needed for Reforestation Projects

The Delaware Native Plant Society is seeking volunteers to help with reforestation projects along Cedar Creek in Sussex County and Blackbird Creek in New Castle County in October and November.

The first scheduled reforestation day is Thursday, Oct. 2, beginning at 10 a.m. Participants will meet at Blackbird State Forest headquarters off Blackbird Forest Road to collect seeds, and then travel to the reforestation site at the Blackbird Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve for planting. Other proposed reforestation days are Oct. 3, 9, 12, 16, 18, 19, 23, 26 and Nov. 2, 6 and 9.

Seed collecting and planting at the Cedar Creek site is planned for Oct. 9-11, Oct. 17-18, Oct. 23-25, Oct. 30 and Nov. 7-8.

DNPS members and volunteers will collect seeds of native tree species (mostly oaks and hickories) from high quality forests along Cedar Creek and Blackbird Creek and plant them in the fields that are to be reforested.

"This method of reforestation was quite successful in an earlier DNPS reforestation project," according to Keith Clancy, president. The direct seeding method has two main advantages over conventional reforestation projects," he said. "It is much cheaper and it results in the establishment of native species collected from local and indigenous populations.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to restore some of Delaware's lost upland forests," Clancy said. "Upland forests are considered by many to be the most imperiled ecosystem in Delaware but they get little attention. This is a habitat that many species of plants and animals depend upon for survival."

The project received funding from the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc, the Delaware Estuary Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and support from land managers with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Parks and Recreation and Soil and Water Conservation and staff at Blackbird State Forest.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Keith Clancy at dnps@delawarenativeplants.org or 302-674-5187; or Eric Zuelke at ezuelke@juno.com.
Visit the DNPS website, www.delawarenativeplants.org, for additional
details.


Directions to sites:

Blackbird State Forest - New Castle County, take Rte 13 to Blackbird Forest
Road, which is just south of the Rte 71/Rte 13 interchange and is about 5 miles
north of Smyrna; go south on Blackbird Forest Road about 1.5 miles to the
State Forest HQ (on the left or east side of road). Blackbird Creek Reforestation
site (afternoon) - Take Rte 13 north of Rte 71/Rte 13 interchange to Union
Church Road; travel east on Union Church Road about 2 miles to site located on
the south side of Union Church Road just west of Rte 9.

The Cedar Creek site - part of the Cedar Creek Natural Area in Sussex County is managed by the state Division of Parks and Recreation. It is located on the south side of Cedar Creek, about 3 miles south of the Rte 36/Rte 1 interchange; go west on Creek View Road or RD 217 (this is the first road south of Cedar Creek off Rte 1) for a short distance to Old Road (also known as RD 216A), right on Old Road and drive a very short distance (< 0.25 mile) to the Welcome Full Gospel Church, look for the church parking lot and signs (the field we will be planting is directly behind the church parking lot).

 

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