Saturday, June 17, 2017

Removing Invasive Species at Herrontown Woods

Thanks to Scott Sillars, Julia Eizenkop, and Dylan Regan for helping pull garlic mustard this past weekend before it goes to seed. The garlic mustard seedpods, visible in the foreground of the photo, are still green and are now safely bagged up. If this is done every year, the garlic mustard diminish in numbers each year until their reservoir of seeds in the soil is exhausted.

The threat posed by invasive plant species has been greatly reduced over the past couple years, including the Wisteria, a pretty but much too aggressive vine that until recently had been smothering trees and the Veblen House grounds. FOHW has also worked with neighbors of the park to prevent the spread of lesser celandine into the preserve, and FOHW board members Kurt and Sally have continued to open up long-obscured vistas by cutting down invasive honeysuckles, privet, barberry, and especially the winged euonymus.

These volunteer efforts have been augmented by the town's hiring of a professional crew to remove Japanese aralia and other less common invasives in Herrontown Woods and in other Princeton preserves like Mountain Lakes.

Invasive species are often considered an intractable problem, but we find that by being strategic and persistent, a great deal of progress can be made.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Garlic Mustard Pulling This Sunday, June 11

Join us at the Veblen House this Sunday, June 11 at 10am, before the day heats up, to pull garlic mustard before its seedpods have a chance to burst. We'll have some refreshments on hand, the better to socialize while snipping off the seedpods. Veblen House is up the gravel driveway across the street from 443 Herrontown Rd, or walk up from the main Herrontown Woods parking lot off of Snowden (map here).

The Friends of Herrontown Woods has transformed the grounds of the Veblen House in recent years, removing invasives, opening up sight-lines and exposing interesting historic features. A crew hired by the town of Princeton also assisted this past summer, removing the very thorny Japanese aralia. Removal of garlic mustard is an important step towards repopulating the property with native plants.


Thanks to the town's intervention, the county has at least temporarily suspended movement towards demolition of the Veblen buildings. FOHW is seeking to work with the town and county in the interim to determine a way by which FOHW could begin repairs on the structures and put them to use. FOHW is proud of having taken the initiative over the past four years to restore and maintain Herrontown Woods, and believes it has proven itself up to the task of repairing the buildings as well.