Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wetland Site Inspected

Sign posted for proposed wetland. Work is supposed to start in fall 2007 but nothing has been done yet.

I decided to investigate the proposed site of the new wetland that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. It is located just west of Victoria Park Ave. in Taylor Park. The site is relatively flat except for some slightly raised mounds that are mostly planted with trees. The flat area is almost entirely covered with Cattails (Typha ssp.). Behind the mounds to the north is a shallow swale that is almost covered with grass. I dug a small test hole here and the earth is very muddy just below the surface.

I'm no expert on wet meadows but this doesn't look like a well functioning habitat. The Cattails form an almost complete monoculture. There is one native and one non-native variety which are hard to tell apart. Both of them are considered to be invasive in some habitats. My conclusion is that this is the case here. The proposed wetland will involve removing most of the Cattails and replacing them with a wetland habitat that will have considerably more diversity.

The unknown factor is whether the ground water source will be active enough to keep the pond feature wet. Once it is excavated water will flow in but evaporation will be increased. Whether the groundwater source can keep up with the loss is an unknown quantity. It may take a few years before a balance is reached. It will certainly be something to keep monitoring.

Nothing but Cattails are growing on this wet meadow

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