On Thursday, October 26th, over 45 volunteers and staff members from Regeneron, Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Lands and Nature), and Capital Region PRISM* (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) came together for Regeneron’s global day of service called “Day for Doing Good” to complete trail work on PLAN’s Glowegee Creek Preserve in Galway.
The day started with PRISM leaders teaching volunteers about common invasive plants in the area and the proper way to remove them. Invasive plants aggressively spread in non-native environments, often displacing native vegetation and disrupting ecosystems. After learning how to identify these plants, the group split up to work on various trail projects.
One group of volunteers, nicknamed the ‘Restoration Crew,’ worked closely with PRISM to remove invasive species from the Blue Trail. They removed large quantities of Multiflora Rose, Common Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, Oriental Bittersweet, and Autumn Olive. In their place, native species such as Highbush Blueberry, Clethra, Winterberry, Chokeberry Viking, Service Berry, and Witch Hazel were planted. Special thanks to PRISM and Brookside Nursery for contributing plants for the workday!
The second group of volunteers headed to the back of the preserve to complete a rock turnpiking project. Rock turnpiking is a trail technique used to improve the walkability of muddy sections of the trail by raising the trail surface out of the mud. This project involved first digging drainage ditches to funnel water away from the trail. Then, volunteers began the slow process of filling in the muddy parts of the trail with rocks to prevent additional erosion in that area. The project was completed by ‘brushing,’ placing sticks and brush, in the remaining muddy areas to narrow the trail back to its original size. This project was a huge success as the trail is now mud-free!
Overall, this workday was incredibly effective and wouldn’t have been possible without the hardworking volunteers from Regeneron and the support from Capital Region PRISM.
Education and Conservation Intern
*THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION PROVIDES FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THE CAPITAL REGION PRISM VIA THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUND.