Coldwater Spring is officially open to the public! Since mid-April National Park Service staff, Youth Conservation Corps members, and hundreds of volunteers have been hard at work removing invasive species such as Common Buckthorn
and Garlic Mustard
, seeding prairies, and planting wetland plants. Currently, 12 acres of prairie and about 1 acre of wetland have been seeded. On September 29th, as part of National Public Lands Day, over 200 volunteers helped plant more than 1,000 trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers. As of October, 125 native plant species have been seeded or planted at Coldwater Spring in just the last four months (Plantings Table
, PDF). Many of the wetland, prairie and shrub plants were chosen for their wildlife value. Sedges and rushes in the wetlands provide food for waterfowl. Many of the wildflowers are a nectar source for butterflies and bees. The shrubs and grasses provide nesting habitat and cover for birds. In early September over 500 fish were added to the reservoir. White suckers and fathead minnows will help control the algae growth. Recent wildlife sightings at the site have included bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, red foxes, fox snakes, white-tailed deer, woodchucks, and a variety of songbirds and butterflies.