Grants

Missouri Department of Conservation: Community Conservation Grant, Spring 2020

Glade Restoration of River Bluff Cave

The WCC received an MDC Community Conservation grant to restore a 1.3 acre glad area by River Bluff Cave on the property of Missouri Institute of Natural Science. This area is presently overrun by redcedar and bush honeysuckle which has supressed the native plants and flowers common in healthy glade ecosystems. The WCC will manage and restore the glad habitat in order to promote ecosystem diversity and improve visitor experience/education opportunities. The project calendar for this work is July 1, 2020 through summer 2022, with maintenance continuing.

We will continue to post updates and progress pictures throughout the grant period.

Partners

Missouri Department of Conservation: Community Conservation Grant, Spring 2019

Glade Restoration at Lake Springfield Park 

Partners: Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri State University

Project Description: 2312 E Lake Springfield Park Rd, Springfield, MO 65804

The purpose of this project was to remove roughly 10 acres of dense Bush honeysuckle and Eastern red cedar from a glade at Lake Springfield Park. Asian bush honeysuckles (Lonicera maackii [Rupr.] Maxim, L. morrowii Gray, and L. tartarica L.) have proved extremely invasive in Missouri glade and forest environments. In addition to displacing native glade/forest ground flora and associated fauna, these understory shrubs pose a threat to native species regeneration in sensitive habitats. In areas of dense growth, the use of heavy machinery to eliminate BHS, such as skid-loaders or bulldozers, is tempting. The problem with such removal techniques is that they cause a great deal of harm to native soils, especially in sensitive areas, disrupting native seed-banks, while often repropagating bush honeysuckle (BHS).

Hand extraction, while time intensive, has proven to be the most effective, and least invasive, method of treatment for BHS in sensitive habitats. Watershed Conservation Corps (WCC) provided provide personnel, equipment and herbicide during the project work. WCC removed, applied herbicide to stump-cut bush honeysuckle, at Lake Springfield. WCC also worked with WCO to provide $1300 in volunteer match procured from our local colleges OTC and Missouri State University.

Missouri Department of Conservation: TRIM Grant, October 2019

WCC Training & Certifications

Partners: Missouri Department of Conservation

On October 1st, 2019 the Missouri Department of Conservation approved our application for the Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Cost-Share Program. Designed to provide Missouri communities with financial assistance for the management, improvement, or conservation of publicly owned trees, the funding received from this program will be used to provide the Watershed Conservation Corps staff, crew leaders and members, and other natural resource managers of Springfield with educational and professional development opportunities. Thanks to the funds made available through the TRIM program, the Corps staff can now purchase study materials and cover the costs of exam fees in order to become International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists®, a professional recognition given to those who are trained and knowledgeable in the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines and other perennial woody plants. Assistance from TRIM also created the opportunity for up to twelve Corps members and other natural resource managers of Springfield to participate in Safety and Woods Worker Training (SAWW). SAWW provides professional sawyers with effective, hands-on training delivered by certified trainers and is focused on safety, cutting techniques, and chainsaw maintenance. The generous assistance of the Missouri Department of Conservation will undoubtedly broaden the knowledge and skillsets of the Watershed Conservation Corps staff and allow for the Corps to expand its services offered, increase the available educational and developmental opportunities for its young employees, and help improve community forests across Missouri.

Seth Wheeler, WCC Program Manager