The Gene Bishop Restoration Project at Monastery Stables
The Gene Bishop Memorial Project at Monastery Stables is one of WRV’s newest restoration sites. In memory of long-time Wissahickon supporter Gene Bishop, this ecological restoration project along a trail near Monastery Stables in Mt. Airy included removal of invasive species and planting a mix of canopy and understory trees that are native to the Wissahickon. Volunteers working in ten-person crews removed invasive exotic plants and planted 40 native trees and shrubs.
In September 2020 volunteers began removing invasive exotic plants from the forest edge between Monastery Stables and the White Trail. This forest edge had become overgrown with a variety of non-native plants, including Japanese angelica tree, privet, multiflora rose, Japanese stiltgrass, porcelain berry, wineberry, and English ivy.
Not all of the plants we found in this forest-edge restoration site were invasive, however. Volunteers worked carefully to preserve several isolated patches of native plants, including goldenrod, pokeweed, blackberry, and white snakeroot.
Volunteers also planted a variety of native plants at the site including fast-growing, shade intolerant trees (bigtooth aspen and gray birch), shade tolerant trees (pin oak, chestnut oak, hackberry, sweet birch, and American basswood), and shrubs which will form a persistent understory (witch-hazel, American elderberry, shadbush, pinxter flower, and arrowwood viburnum).
Of course, this is only the beginning for the Gene Bishop Memorial Project at Monastery Stables. As a forest edge, this site is especially vulnerable to non-native invasive plants, and WRV volunteers will be working to protect and maintain the native plants on this site for years to come.
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