Bayfield Area Trails volunteers reunited with Nile Merton and Michael Sinclair of Bay Area Environmental Consulting at the Gil Larsen Trailhead on Saturday, May 14—a beautiful spring morning. They gathered for an update on restoration work undertaken a year ago, and to plant native shrubs and pull invasive forget-me-nots. And there’s good news! Despite last summer’s drought, Nile reported a success rate of 60 to 80 percent for the 210 trees and shrubs planted in May 2021, including red osier dogwood, white cedar, winterberry holly, black chokeberry, and high bush cranberry.
Nile and Michael guide BATS volunteers.
Michael demonstrates how to handle roots while planting.
Nile and Michael explained that they considered several factors when deciding what to add this year. They chose native shrubs that would stabilize the area but not obstruct the view of the Iron Bridge, and that would ultimately shade the creek and keep it clean as it flows into Lake Superior. They also looked for vegetation that would serve for bird forage and attract pollinators. Michael explained that the biggest threat to the new plantings is competition from invasive species like forget-me-nots.
Volunteers worked in teams and planted American elderberry, black chokeberry, juneberry, and arrowwood viburnum. Others dug up emerging forget-me-nots by the roots.
Many thanks to Neil Howk, president of Chequamegon Audubon, who led a bird walk on the Gil Larsen Trail prior to the start of the Bayfield Area Trails workday. Participants watched for, and listened to, migratory birds passing through Bayfield on their way north. The walk celebrated Bayfield's participation in Wisconsin's Bird City program, and commemorated World Migratory Bird Day, which was Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Neil Howk leads a bird walk on the Gil Larsen trail.
BATS volunteers at work in the Iron Bridge viewshed.
And many thanks to the Bayfield Area Trails volunteers who worked on the restoration of the viewshed at the Iron Bridge this year including Melis Erik, Lyndy Howe, Neil Howk, Kate Kitchell, Gene Lemmenes, Pam Lincoln, Erica and Mark Peterson, Sheree Peterson, and Kris Wegerson. The work was sponsored by the City Parks and Recreation Committee and Bayfield Area Trails.