On Saturday, August 20th, Matt Dickinson, Carolyn Hardie, Billy McGovern (pictured above), and Marina Wong weeded the ornamental beds around the playground. Many armfuls of vegetation consisting of American pokeweed, annual knawel, Chinese foxtail, common wormwood, crabgrass, dock-leaved smartweed, green carpetweed, lambsquarters, nut flatsedge, and Pennsylvania everlasting-cudweed were removed, among others. So even the weeds at Salter Grove are species rich!
Given its small size, Salter Grove continues to amaze. The mindful weeding even uncovered two new plant species for the park—rough buttonweed and slender cotton weed. The park flora now includes at least 225 plant species in 78 families. Matt and Carolyn also saw a wild turkey while weeding to bring the August observable bird species count to 58.
American elm showing Y branching pattern and other diagnostic features.
Paul Dolan, forester and Area Director of Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Council, visited Salter Grove to verify tree identifications on Monday, June 1st.
Paul last visited in late December 2019 and confirmed the identification of most tree species in the park based on bark and winter bud characteristics. His recent visit verified the occurrence of additional species that came to light with their leaf emergence. Continue reading
T. F. Morra Tree Care was in the neighborhood recently to remove a residential pine tree, and kindly delivered a load of wood chips. These will suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture to get the shrubs behind the playground swing sets off to a good start.
Nancy Sumrall (left) prepares the trail to Audubon Hill while Carolyn Hardie
records plants for the next batch of identification labels.
What better way to stave off cabin fever than some outdoor exercise? We are grateful to those who have pitched in to help develop the nature trails, which will allow children and their guardians to learn about the natural world of Salter Grove’s diverse habitats.
First spotted as a nesting pair, these Canada Geese added four fledglings to the wildlife at Salter Grove in early May. Two fledgelings are well camouflaged in the vegetation.
Save the Bay’s efforts to improve water quality have really paid off!
Trail distance marker, hanging plant tag, and tree stake (left to right).
We have installed all of the permanent distance markers, and have started on the first batch of permanent plant labels along the trails in Salter Grove.
The distance markers are spaced 100 feet apart and serve to locate plants and animal sightings, past, present, and future.
Hanging plant tags identify shrubs and vines while 3″ x 5″ signs identify tree species. Not shown in the photo above are 2″ x 4″ labels for smaller herbaceous plants.
This is the second step of a multi-phase process to develop a smartphone-accessible website for visitors to access ecological, geological, and cultural information while they are at the park. This project has the support and approval of Warwick’s Parks and Recreation Department and RIDEM.
Obviously these permanent tags look much nicer than the white plastic tags and stakes which were placeholders during the identification process. Please respect this effort to provide a multi-generational educational experience by looking, but not touching (dogs too!).