With the field season in full swing, CVC staff are busy working at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. We’re continuing to bring back healthy forests. This year we’ll be planting another 900 native trees and shrubs. This is in addition to the 2,400 trees and shrubs planted over the past two years.
Rattray Marsh is home to a diversity of wildlife. Deer are abundant and enjoy feeding on the leaves and twigs on young trees and shrubs. Regular feeding leads to stunted growth and significant mortality of the trees and shrubs. To protect the new plantings, we’re installing pockets of deer exclusion fencing in areas with new deciduous trees and shrubs that are being heavily impacted by deer.
The temporary fencing will be installed and maintained for approximately five years to allow trees to grow to a height where most of the leaves and branches are above the reach of deer. Shrubs will be able establish and grow large, healthy branches and foliage that can better withstand deer grazing and regenerate rapidly afterward. Deer fencing is proven to be the most effective way to ensure survival of planted and naturally regenerated plants in areas where deer can have a significant impact
The fencing will not impact the movement of wildlife through the conservation area and allows small mammals, reptiles and amphibians to pass through. Areas between fencing will continue to regenerate with planted trees, shrubs and natural cover that will provide food and cover for wildlife.
You can enjoy weaving through the forest on the newly renovated trails along the Knoll Trail and Silver Maple Lane. Please remember to keep your dogs on a leash and be sure to stop at the lookout on the Knoll Trail for a beautiful view of the marsh.