Spring is a great time to observe the health of your natural area to determine if it is functioning properly. Healthy natural areas reduce soil erosion by filtering sediment out of water as it melts from the snow. Healthy natural areas also support diverse wildlife populations and provide a variety of food, water, habitat, and protection cover for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arachnids. Lichens, mosses, liverworts, algae, and fungi also inhabit natural areas. Such species are supported by an equally diverse plant community. Together, this community of plants and animals are referred to as natural ecosystems.
In the early spring, milder temperatures allow us to spend more time outdoors. Heavy snow pack has mashed down the herbaceous plant stems making it easier to walk in open fields. Foliage from woody trees and shrubs has not emerged yet, allowing us to look into the forest at individual trees.
As we walk through our natural areas there are a few things we should observe by asking ourselves questions. Can we observe any soil erosion occurring? Is the forest floor or meadow becoming populated with thickets of invasive vegetation? Are trees in the forest healthy or in decline? Keen observations are the first step in determining if you need to take further action to keep your natural area healthy and functioning as it should. Spring is a great time to begin this process and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.
Davey Resource Group’s environmental consulting team offers cutting-edge ecological restoration services. We can provide ecological surveys, species lists, and map the stand densities of natural areas threatened by invasive vegetation. Our expert biologists can meet with representatives from your organization to review management goals for your natural areas. We can arrange a site visit to discuss best management practices and how to best implement your goals and ideas.