Hillside Reconstruction

Things that people can do outside of class to help the project:
  • Take pictures of the final stopping point and what the area looks like, upload the pictures to PICASA on Mr. Todd's computer.
  • Make a map of the aerial view showing the areas we have worked on
  • Schedule a workday after school (short)
  • Design the signs
  • Put up two prairie reconstruction signs in PR1 (behind the science wing)
  • Clean tools, gloves, and areas that were used during project times

Future Work Day Goals:
  • Take out a trash bag - Nate, Kiana
  • Cutting down small trees - Ruby, Brandon, Brian, Hannah, Tessa, Micaela, Deryk, Chris, Dillon, James, Dustin
  • Hauling brush to pile - Kiana, Anna, Bryan, Elliot, Nic, Jacob
  • Pointing to places to spray - Jackie, Kaydee
  • Taking Pictures - Kaydee
  • Raking - Elena, Amber, Abby
  • Spraying Herbicide - Mike Todd, Ms. Hopper
  • Chainsaw - Mike Todd

10/16 Work Day Goals:
  • Take out a trash bag
  • Cutting down small trees and spraying with Patherfinder 2
  • Making a new pile near the trailer

Future Goals:
  • More raking
  • Need to spray crown vetch
  • Take down bigger trees that are leaning towards the power lines and fence (Spence about getting someone out to top the trees)
  • Get rid of big rock pile (Talk to Gerry Peters with the district facilities people)
  • Remove the gravel road (Talk to Gerry Peters with the district facilities people)
  • Burn the brush pile (need to get a permit from the City - call the fire department and they will issue the permit)
  • Move the trailer and compactor (talk to Judge)

    Work Day for 10/11
    What We Need:
  • Take gloves (Dustin, Stacy)
  • Fill water container and bring it (Ruby, Tessa)
  • Take Saws (Chris),loppers (Deryk, Nate), weed wrench (Dillon), rakes (Bryan, Hannah) - carrying these things in the wheel barrow (James)
  • Take herbicide (dont use if windy outside) (Ms. Hopper)
  • Take a couple cameras (for before & after pics) (Kaydee, Abby)
  • Check weather and wear appropriate clothing (everyone)
  • Take Chain Saw (use to cut down larger trees) (Mike)
    What We'll Do:
  • Continue removing trees from top to bottom
  • Cut stumps as low as possible to ground
  • Remove all small debris    
  • Treat Herbicide

Working Around Herbicides - Things to Know/Think about:
  • Read Labels Carefully
  • Wear long sleeves and pants - show little skin
  • Don't apply while its windy (check label to see precaution about wind)
  • Don't use the same sprayer for insects and weeds
  • Use before the herbicide vaporizes
  • Thoroughly clean equipment right after using - rinse three times waiting 30 seconds for water to drain
  • Break containers before throwing away
  • Never rinse pesticides down the drain
  • Stay 3-4 feet away from sprayed area
  • Don't spray in the direction your are going to walk in
  • Do not spray near animals
  • Do not walk in the area you sprayed
  • Make a sign to indicate the area has been sprayed

Pathfinder 2 Information (label, etc.)

Pathfinder 2 Herbicide Safety Datasheet:

Stump Treating with Herbicide

Notes from Carl Kurtz's visit:
  • Work on small area first
  • Most prairie plants take 3 years to produce seed - so we have to know how long to wait in order for plants to show up
  • Different species next to each other will take longer to grow
  • Prairie grasses are tall and can prevent snow drifts
  • Pollinators love prairie
  • Water brings more habitats for more species 
  • Got 900 lbs of honey from hives near the prairies
Plan for future:
  • Work Tuesday 9/25 
    • Figure out how much we can get done, and estimate the project area from that
    • Take as many plant pictures on 9/25 as possible to identify them and how to remove them
      • Put on Picasa web album and share with Carl and Jimmy
    • Take down smaller plants tomorrow
      • Take weed wrench
      • Take rakes, shovels, hand saws, gloves, hoes, clippers
      • Wheel barrow
      • Cameras
      • Trash bags
      • Water

  • Work day Friday 10/5/12
    • Cut and treat stumps
    • Take out the chainsaw

  • Remove trees and invasive species and plant prairie seed
  • Check to see how compact the ground is and aerate if necessary
  • Make sure seeds don't wash down the hill
  • Use herbicide soon, before the top part of the plant dies

Things from, "Tallgrass Prairie Restoration and Reconstruction":
  • Signage to inform people about our plans, what types of animals are there
  • Site Preparation
    • Remove small stumps
    • Kill existing vegetation
    • Herbicides to kill vegetation

  • Seeding
    • Dormant seeding - will make sure seeds are stratified

What are the major things that need to be addressed by the project?
  • Types of species of plants that are out there - invasive vs. non-invasive
  • Signage for explaining to the public why we are doing this and how long this project will take and species present
  • Distinguish between native and non-native, so we know what to preserve
  • Explain what people can do to help
  • Figure out which plants we want to plant and where
  • Working to construct a trail
  • How to remove trees that are cut down
  • Are there other needs that the city or school has that we might be able to help with? (i.e. trash cans?)
  • Ask City to work on spots in the bike path
  • Remove extra concrete
  • Pile of grass clippings

Questions that the class has about the project:
  • How much land will we cover?
  • How long will this project take?
  • Who is going to care for the area after we are done?
  • How will we restore native plants to the area?
  • Where will the cut down trees go?
  • How long will people need to work on the area?
  • How will we decide who is assigned what task?
  • What can stay and what can go?
  • Will we rotate tasks or stay with what we are doing?
  • Are there animals that are not native to the area that we have to remove?

What do we need to learn in order to make informed decisions about the project?
  • Native species
  • Tree identification
  • plant identification
  • What should we wear to protect ourselves
  • What animals are native
  • How to remove things properly
  • What tools we need
  • How to build a trail
  • How to make the area sustainable
  • How to capture animals

Expertise that we need to bring in to help us learn those things along with questions we would ask them:
  • The Iowa DNR
  • Plant experts - Jimmie Thompson
  • Park Rangers
  • Ames Tree and Lawn Service
  • Construction workers
  • Graphic Designer
  • Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Michelle Garcia

Here are the overall Environmental Impact Project Goals:
  • Deepen knowledge about some aspect of environmental science 
  • Give something back to your community in order to learn about the value of civic responsibility
  • Become more connected to your community
  • Develop project management/leadership skills
  • Develop better written and verbal communication skills
  • Explore personal and career interests

Original Football Field Hillside/area adjacent to City bike path Prairie Reconstruction Ideas:
  • Work with professionals to design and make 2 signs
    • History and role of prairies in Iowa
    • Benefits of native plants, how to plant native plants, the stages of reconstructing prairie
  • Remove Trees
  • Kill remaining vegetation - including Crown Vetch on South side of path
  • Remove Honey Locust Trees along the path
  • Remove the fence along the path (?)
  • Dormant seed with Doolittle seed in November
  • Install Signs in October
  • Construct a trail from track shed to bike path