4-H Lends a Hand or 80

Published: Jun 30, 2014

Forty 4-H teens from across the state helped tackle the glossy buckthorn invasion of UNH’s College Woods Sunday as part of the annual NH 4-H Teen Conference hosted by UNH Cooperative Extension. The 200 high school teens from across the state take part in various community service activities on their first day of the four day conference. Ellen Snyder of The Stewardship Network: New England began with a talk to understand the role of invasive plants and how to identify glossy buckthorn. After a walk to the site and learning how to operate a weed wrench, the buckthorn was in trouble.

It was great overhearing the teens remind themselves of the identifiers for glossy buckthorn; alternating leaf pattern, deep veins and smooth leaf edges. Some stuck to pulling saplings and others cut down small trees.  Shirts for this year’s conference include the phrase “I Can Make a Difference” which they certainly did by looking at the brush piles of glossy buckthorn.

Another component for the day was to show how to use the invasive mapping app IPANE (Invasive Plant Atlas of New England). Teens learned how the app creates a comprehensive map of New England with locators of where invasive plants are in the region. Volunteers plot the areas they have pulled an invasive so later they or others can remove the invasive if it has grown back.

With continued group efforts like these College Woods’ 250 acres has the chance to be free of invasive plants. 

Story and photos by Lisa Demaine, Community and Citizen Science Intern and Environmental Sciences major at UNH.

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