Sheep Paddocks Stewardship & Monitoring
In 2021, Colony Farm Park Association will be running volunteer stewardship events and a citizen science monitoring program around the newly built wetland on the Sheep Paddocks trail. With the help of a volunteer team, we will monitor birds, amphibians, fish, water quality, and invasive species in and around the Sheep Paddocks wetlands.
We will also help maintain and enhance the habitat around the wetlands. The new wetland site is being considered for potential Western Painted Turtle recovery efforts. The island in the middle of the new wetland was constructed as a nesting beach, and we will be monitoring water quality this year to ensure it is acceptable for the release of juvenile turtles.
Along the new Sheep Paddocks trail, there are also 2 older wetlands constructed in 2005 and 2009, and a wildflower meadow planted across from the new wetland. The river bank north of the wetland was reinforced with riprap material to prevent undercutting and fish habitat structures were installed there.
We will need to watch closely to prevent the re-colonization of invasive plant species, and remove them before they can take over. But it’s not all invasive species management - we have a variety of other stewardship activities planned! We will overseed the wildflower meadow with a native seed mix, pull Red Alder around the new wetland plantings, keep the turtle nesting beach clear of vegetation, and install a new wildlife habitat planting in the fall.