Park Closed for the Season
The park will be closed from Nov 1st, 2013 to Spring 2014. Visitor information is available online, via facebook.com/SaugusIronNPS or by calling the Salem Visitor Center at (978) 740-1650.
Although Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site contains numerous species of native plants, animals, and other organisms, non-native species can be easily seen within the historic site. Many of the non-native species at Saugus Iron Works are classified as plants.
In 1996 and 1997, a plant inventory was conducted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to determine the plant diversity within the historic site. One hundred and sixty species of plants were identified within Saugus Iron Works. Of these 160 plant species, 59 are non-native and 11 of these 59 species are considered non-native and invasive.
Many species, such as the plants found in the Iron Works House 17th century herb garden, are considered non-native, because these plants are originally from Europe or Asia. However, these herbs are not classified as invasive, because they do not outcompete native plants for sunlight, water, nutrients, and habitat within Saugus Iron Works. Other non-native plant species, such as Norway maple (Acer platanoides) and common reed (Phragmites australis) are considered non-native and invasive because these plants are able to outcompete native plants. As non-native invasive plants continue to outcompete native ones, the populations and species of native plants start to decline.
In 2003, National Park Service staff conducted a survey of Norway maple, common reed, and other non-native invasive plants within the historic site. The primary goals of this survey were to identify which invasive plant species inhabit the site, determine the population densities of the invasive plant species, and map where the invasive plant species occur within the historic site. The survey identified and mapped 11 primary invasive plant species and listed an additional 31 secondary exotic plant species within Saugus Iron Works. This survey is currently being used by park staff to control and monitor the 11 primary non-native invasive plant species. This survey report may be downloaded in the "Related Information" section below.
Did You Know?
At the time of English settlement, the native community in what is today Saugus was led by a woman known only as the “Great Squaw Sachem”. It was not uncommon for a woman to take the lead as sachem after her husband died. Our squaw sachem had several contemporaries; 3 in Connecticut, 2 in Rhode Island and 1 in Massachusetts. What did the colonists think of this practice?