In 2020 club members decided to combine their efforts into a single focal project on campus. A survey of natural areas led the group to take on restoring the campus Garry oak ecosystem after club members stumbled upon small patches of camas (Camassia sp.) thriving despite a history of site degradation. As an ode to the collaborative nature of the club, this restoration project is now being implemented by the club over the next five years with inputs from Restoration of Natural Systems student’s final projects.
At this stage of the project we are working to create an approach to restoration and monitoring that can be consistently taken on by volunteers. Our efforts are being supported financially through a grant from the Campus Sustainability Fund and graciously powered by the support of our awesome volunteer network. You can read about what work was accomplished in the 2020-2021 school year by reading the update.
Scotch broom (Cystisus scoparius)
Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
English ivy (Hedera helix) and daphne (Daphne laureola)
Our trials in ecological restoration involve trying different methods of restoration and monitoring the results. Currently we are developing best practices for removing and suppressing invasive plants, as well as improving ecosystem structure and composition. Our trials include:
1. Combinations of mulching and tarping treatments.
2. Developing best practices for removal of invasive plants – targeting daphne (Daphne laureola), English ivy (Hedera helix), and Scotch broom (Cystisus scoparius).
3. Shifting mowing schedules to accommodate ecosystem-associated plant flowering times to improve seed bank availability.
4. Reintroducing ecosystem-associated plant species to suppress invasive plant regrowth and restore lost ecosystem components.
5. Removing common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) to simulate disturbance that has been lost to the area and create access points to remove invasive exotic plants like English holly (Ilex aquifolium).