Sanborn Sophomores Tackle Invasives in Kingston Town Forest

volunteer group photo

A dense stand of invasive plants is intimidating. And so are 150 high school students armed with clippers, weed-wrenches, and work gloves.

If you happened to be at the Olde Frye Farm Town Forest in Kingston last Thursday, you would have seen both of these sights side by side. The sophomore class at Sanborn Regional High School banded together to remove pesky invasive plants including Japanese knotweed, oriental bittersweet, and multiflora rose from a heavily infested section of the town forest.

Many hands make light work was the motto of the day as students and volunteers with smiles and good cheer, pulled, cut, dug, and bagged seven different types of invasive plants. The service day culminated the work Sanborn Regional High School sophomores have been doing in their social studies, English, and science classes as part of an integrated school project on the effects of invasive species in local woodlands.

volunteers pulling invasives

Sarah Sallade, Sanborn High School Life Science Teacher, organized the event in collaboration with the Kingston Conservation Commission, UNH Cooperative Extension, and The Stewardship Network: New England, who all had voluntters lending a hand at the event. The students came away with new skills in identifying invasive plants and an appreciation of how damaging they can be to our native forests.

Some students, like Tim Gablosky, were ready to take their knowledge and volunteerism to the next level. "This is fun," he said, "I want to go out in my woods and look for this stuff."

As the students funneled back onto their busses, they left the citizens of Kingston with a rewarding sight: their town forest improved and recovering after removal of a huge swath of invasive plants.

volunteers holding invasives