Published on December 19, 2022

Habitat Enhancement at Daniel Webster

A group of volunteers photographed at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service - Conservation Stewardship Program, we are completing 9 acres of invasive brush management and conservation cover at our Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, MA. This means we are removing invasive non-native plant species and replacing them with native pollinator and grass species. This project will enhance and improve the habitat for people and wildlife while also increasing the resiliency of this landscape. In the spring of 2022, our staff removed all of the invasive species from the area. In April of 2022, we had volunteers join us at the Piggery Loop for an Earth Month Clean Up Event! These folks helped us remove 8 bags of trash and other debris (rocks and logs) from the site to prepare it for drill seeding! Throughout the summer, staff monitored the invasive non-native species that grew back and used best practices to remove those plants before they matured. Recently, in November, we spread loam throughout the project site to even out the area and improve mowing conditions for future years. Finally, on November 18th, we drill seeded the entire project area with over 18 species, including Coastal Panic Grass, New England Aster, Saltmarsh Mallow, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, and Purple Butterfly Weed. Some of these seeds were collected by our Wildflower Propagation Program participants. We want to thank all of our volunteers that have participated in the cleanup and seed collection events for this project!

Volunteer driving a tractor on a grassy road

Habitat improvements such as this take time. Staff will continue monitoring the site for invasive non-native plant regrowth in the area, but we are hopeful that by summer 2024, the seeds we drilled into the project site will grow into a beautiful pollinator meadow. Make sure to check it out!

Grant Explanation: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service - Conservation Stewardship Program Grant. The program is designed to compensate participants who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation. Essentially, we are being rewarded for what we're already doing!