Special Projects

Restoring natural places is a complex and fascinating endeavor. Brush cutting and seeds are important and satisfying components, but that’s not all there is to it! Here are some ideas for special projects you can do:

Lisa the sedge Inspector, Stephen Packard, July 2015

Lisa the sedge Inspector, July 2015

Plant and Wildlife Monitoring: Citizen Science at Its Best! 

How do we know if an endangered plant is slipping away or bouncing back? What kind of frogs do we have here? What impact is the coyote population having on the voles and rabbits? Where did the threatened Bicknell’s geranium do best last year, and where is similar habitat so we can broadcast seeds to help it recover this year?

No one person can answer all these questions. This is why you are needed to track the populations of rare plants and wildlife in the Sommes. Plant and wildlife monitoring helps us set goals for restoration and check on how we’re doing. Anyone can learn to monitor plants or animals. Many species that we’d like to know more about are waiting for someone to adopt them. It’s a wonderful way to get out in nature and make a huge impact.

If you’re interested in monitoring wildlife or plant populations you can learn the ropes from one of the great programs listed at our partner site, Wild Things Community, and get in touch with us so we can help you make a Somme-specific monitoring plan!

Baby Salamander Hunt, Cecil Hynds-Riddle

Baby Salamander Hunt, Cecil Hynds-Riddle

Here are some of the other ways volunteers help Somme become a thriving place for plants, animals, fungi, and human volunteers: 

Maintain Trails – Learn to scythe away vegetation to keep the trails open and put down cut “corduroy logs” in the muddy spots along the trail.

Save Oaks – Cage baby oak trees so the deer don’t eat them, collect acorns and plant them where needed, and monitor to determine where to cut buckthorn to save ancient oaks.

Lead Groups, Big and Small – Learn to collect just 1 or 2 types of seed and take out a group of 3 people to pluck ’em on a regularly scheduled seed gathering. Enlist 100 college students to cut brush, and recruit a team of volunteer leaders to manage your own ginormous workday! It’s up to you! Leaders of every stripe are needed!

Your Idea Here – Often the best ideas for important projects come from people who let their curiosity loose! Explore and do your own thing – we’ll help!

Sign up here to volunteer and receive updates about the Sommes.

Learn about brush cutting here.

Learn about seed collecting and processing here.