As in previous years, Mousam Way Land Trust participated in United Way of York County’s annual Day of Caring. This volunteer community event brought 16 folks from Pratt & Whitney to the McKeon Environmental Reserve in Springvale to work in the woods alongside most of the Trust’s Board of Directors. Hand saws, loppers, trimmers, iron bars, chain saws, trucks, and some outstanding enthusiasm were brought to bear upon the trails, meadow, and Community Activities areas. Demolition material from an old building was cleaned up.
Three new trails were cleared, allowing accesses to: an Activities Center, a geologic outcrop forming a cliff overlooking Branch River, and an interesting maple tree (“The Rock Tree”) growing from the middle of a glacial erratic. Two other new trails were cleared, extending the Center and Meadow Trails.
The Meadow Restoration Project was substantially progressed by the piling up slash materials that had accumulated from recent logging operations, and by the planting of pollinator plants. This project will provide suitable habitat and foraging for many species of plants, insects, amphibians, birds, and other animals dependent upon such an environment. Native plantings will attract native insects to feed and reproduce, which in turn will provide an abundant food supply of bugs for other insects like dragonflies and beetles, which will add to the food supply for birds, mammals, and amphibians. A fox’s favorite food is grasshoppers, and these little grass-eating critters will be abundant for the fox to catch! Bees and butterflies will be especially supported with this restoration; without pollinators, we humans would have very little food ourselves, so our food sources will also be improved.