NPS vegetation manager Cherie Cordell divides gama grass roots for replanting.
Nine University of Tennessee college student volunteers helped to dig a new row of holes and to plant the divided roots, after which Americorps members and managers watered the planted grass clumps. At the end of the project, the crew had transplanted a total of 403 gama grass clumps in just over two rows. The seed harvest this fall and propagation this summer will let managers know if their strategy to give gama grass more room worked.
Willow stake planting in Cades Cove
Each year, vegetation managers plant willow stakes along highly eroded portions of Abram’s Creek in Cades Cove. The goal is for the willows to take root and hold the eroded banks in place. This year the project took two days to complete; the first day the crew of vegetation managers, Americorps volunteers, and a Volunteer-in-Parks (V.I.P.) prepared the willow stakes for planting by cutting trees with a chainsaw and cutting these stakes into 1’-2’ lengths using loppers and hand clippers. Once cut, the stakes were placed into buckets of shallow water: moist ends help to ensure rooting success.
The following day the crew transported the stakes to the site, and the planting began. Five Americorps volunteers waded in the creek to plant stakes along the bank with hammers and handmade wooden mallets. The remaining crew worked above the creek and planted along the creek edge. Over the two days, the crew planted a total of 1440 stakes.
Return to Resource Roundup: April-May, 2009.