Sunny Work Day at the Antioch Dunes

IMG_2498 (2)Students from Antioch Earth Team enjoyed the beautiful weather while doing restoration work at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The team arrived at 10:00am and broke into groups to take on different tasks.

One group was responsible for identifying and removing tobacco trees from around the dunes.  The process involved using large pruning shears to remove branches from the trees and weed wrenches to get as much of the root out of the ground as possible.  The interns did an awesome job, but said that the work was very challenging!

Another group of students worked on the inner portion of the dunes removing grasses.  Luckily, this large land area isn’t too badly affected by invasive species as the primrose grows much better there than other species.  However, the students still removed large amounts of grasses from the area.

The third group worked around the boundaries of the dunes, removing larger shrubs and clearing bigger patches of invasive species.

Earth Team Antioch finished the day by reflecting on their work at a serene beach.  Looking out onto the water, the interns shared their favorite parts of the day as well as the most challenging parts, and also shared what they’re looking forward to.  The consensus is that the team is excited to return to the Antioch Dunes and spend more time on the beautiful waterfront site!

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Earth Team’s First Visit to the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge

IMG_2428For their second meeting of the year, Antioch Earth Team visited the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge to get some hands on experience with the species living there.  The interns spent 2 hours exploring both sites within the refuge, and learning how to expertly identify juvenile Antioch Dunes Evening-Primrose and Contra Costa Wallflower.

The interns were able to see the sites and species that they learned about the prior week in the classroom.  Although not all of the species talked about were present or mature, the students had the chance to see and identify many Antioch Dunes Evening Primroses, some of which were small and some of which had grown quite large.  They also had the chance to see and learn about more invasive species, including winter vetch, a variety of thistles, and tobacco trees.

Being on site at the Dunes was a great opportunity for the team to ask questions with a better perspective.  Students were inquisitive about all of the other plans present at the site, and learned about many species beyond the endangered plants.

This weekend, interns will return to the site to do restoration work in an effort to protect the important species at the Antioch Dunes!