The Hilltop Conservancy’s forest regeneration efforts are going to take a big step forward this weekend–with some help from the community.
The Conservancy is going to be planting 80 trees on the hillside near Prisoner’s Pond (above Freedom and Liberty fields) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 26 to 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. It needs volunteers to help move the trees into the worksite, plant them in the holes that have already been dug, then stake them and install tree guards. The Hilltop Conservancy has gotten variety of native trees for the 5-acre site, which had been damaged by the emerald ash borer and non-native vegetation. It has spent a year clearing one acre of the site of the damage and getting it ready for re-planting. The other four acres will be tackled over the next four years.
If you can help this weekend, you need to dress in boots, long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, and bring work gloves. You can reach the job site by driving up White Rock Road and parking in the lot adjacent to Freedom Field.
The reforestation is the latest in a series of habitat restoration projects for the Conservancy. It started with a 15-acre area near the blue water tower at the top of the mountain that had once been covered by a tuberculosis sanatorium. It then restored a 3-acre plot just to the south that had been occupied by sanatorium outbuildings, using mulched trees downed in a devastating 2011 storm in Verona to jumpstart the process. It is also working on a 6-acre wetlands off Courter Road.
For more information about the weekend project, and all of the Conservancy’s work, see its website.