Sudbury Valley Trustees, the City of Marlborough, and the DCR partnered with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (MNHESP) to implement this project. MNHESP staff have provided extensive technical expertise and guidance. Additionally, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is providing technical and logistical support.
Since 2011, SVT and the City of Marlborough have used mechanical methods and selective herbicide applications to reduce the abundance and extent of invasive plants. Use of herbicides is essential for certain species such as Asian bittersweet, black swallow-wort, and phragmites, as well as for very large shrubs.
We regularly organize volunteers to conduct manual removal of invasive plants where appropriate. Anyone interested in participating is invited to contact SVT at [email protected].
The City of Marlborough and the DCR State Forest plan to conduct a logging operation this fall or winter to thin out trees. The DCR will transition 25 acres of the state forest to pitch pine-scrub oak barrens. SVT and the City of Marlborough are making plans for a prescribed burn that we hope to conduct in 2023
Great Oak Services mowed the 15-acre area around the Desert Loop Trail of SVT's Memorial Forest to create a layer of woody debris that will provide better fuel for a subsequent prescribed burn.
SVT and representatives of MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) toured Memorial Forest and the Desert Natural Area to assess the site and make plans for the next prescribed burn. The NHESP representatives were pleased to note an abundance of scrub oak as well as the presence of several plants that are characteristic of these types of barrens, such as Labrador Tea and pinweed.
SVT and the City of Marlborough hired Northeast Forest & Fire Management, LLC, to prepare an updated Burn Plan for 56 acres on SVT's Memorial Forest and 8 acres on City of Marlborough's Desert Natural Area.
The Burn Plan was approved by MassWildlife for restoration of rare species habitat. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a burn permit, and both the Marlborough and Sudbury Fire Chiefs reviewed the plan and gave their support. An Order of Conditions was issued by the Sudbury Conservation Commission for work within and abutting wetland resource areas. Unfortunately, the burn was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
View a map of the proposed burn units. NEED TO LINK
Phase II clearing work at SVT's Memorial Forest was completed. The Phase II management area is located between the old rail line, Hop Brook and Cranberry Brook. Unit A, 15 acres, was heavily thinned (50%) in preparation for a prescribed burn. Unit B, 35 acres, was thinned and may be burned to improve ground level site conditions but no trees will be cut or harvested for at least another 10 years (see map).
2015 - 2016
SVT and the Town of Sudbury released tens of thousands of Galerucella beetles to control purple loosestrife in the marshes along Hop Brook. This insect from Eurasia feeds exclusively on purple loosestrife.
Under the supervision of Joel Carlson, Northeast Forest & Fire Management, LLC, SVT and Marlborough implemented a prescribed fire on 14 acres located at the town boundary, on either side of the gas pipeline (trail intersection "E"). The burn was preceded by site preparation that included the mowing of shrubs and trees up to 6 inches in diameter.
2009 – 2010
The owners of the abutting lands agreed to cooperate on a restoration project. As a first step, we mapped invasive plant species and their distribution.