Thursday, August 22, 2013

Channel construction and the return of floodplain vegetation

Now the construction crews are grading the stream banks and building soil burritos, or Fabric Encapsulated Soil lifts.  The lifts give the banks temporary stability while the trees and shrubs put down their roots.  Eventually, the fabric will biodegrade, and the roots will take over.

Meanwhile, plants are slowly returning to the former impoundment.  So far I've seen some native plants such as Golden Hedge Hyssop and some tiny red maple seedlings coming up.  A lot of purple loosestrife was already growing next to the Mill River before the dam was removed; you can see the purple haze in the background of these photos.

The Hopewell Mills site has been slow to green up in some places.  Here's a recent photo from last week of an area that recently sprouted vegetation, including purple loosestrife: