Gowing's Swamp--Project to Combat Invasive Species

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The Gowing’s Swamp natural area in Concord supports unique plant communities and is surrounded by a walking trail through pleasant oak-pine woodlands. The protection of the Gowing’s Swamp environs began in 1971, when Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) was given seven acres on the east side of the bog. In 1979, seventeen acres were protected as part of the Edmonds Road condominium development. And in 2012, the Concord Land Conservation Trust (CLCT) raised funds to purchase another seven acres to the west.  Most recently, SVT partnered with the Playscape at Ripley to create an engaging gateway to this natural area.

Beginning in the spring of 2016, the Playscape, CLCT, and SVT are working together again to improve the interpretive and viewing elements of the Playscape, and to combat the invasive plants that threaten the ecology of this special area.  The invasive control project will occur over three years, with most of the work being implemented in the first year.  The techniques will include a combination of mowing, cutting, and selective herbicide application. 

The total cost for the three-year project to control invasive plants around Gowing’s Swamp is $28,500. The Concord Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is recommending that Concord residents vote to approve $14,100 toward this project at Town Meeting in April. In addition to these funds, we’ve already secured another $10,400 towards this effort from SVT, CLCT, neighbors, and in-kind contributions. SVT is now seeking additional donations to close the $4,000 gap in funding.

The Concord Natural Resources Commission supports this project, and we are using environmentally safe techniques that have been used in many biodiversity protection projects across the Commonwealth. SVT is a member of the Suasco CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area) in which conservation professionals share their expertise and promote best management practices for invasive species management.

For more information, contact Laura Mattei, SVT's Director of Stewardship, at 978-443-5588 x134 or [email protected].