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Contact: Mike Kusch, 315 336-3126
Rome, NY: In an attempt to control the weeds on the lawn and to prepare the grounds for a spring seeding, Fort Stanwix National Monument will spray two herbicides on Friday, September 21, 2007. The area to be treated is the south lawn between the fort and the Marinus Willett Center and Black River and Erie (east) Boulevards. Two types of New York State approved herbicides will be used; one to destroy the weeds currently seen above ground and the other will destroy weed seeds in the soil. The dead weeds will not be removed until the spring because their roots will help prevent soil erosion. During the spring the dead weeds will be raked and removed from the site and the area reseeded. The result will be green grasses during the summer.
“After the Marinus Willett Center was completed a seed mixture of native grasses and flowers was sown,” stated Mike Kusch, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management. “Unfortunately these plants were out competed by weed seeds in the soil. The result was a lawn devoid of native grasses and flowers. Because of this, Fort Stanwix National Monument is taking an aggressive approach in the fall and spring to correct the situation.
By passers will see the lawn turn brown throughout the rest of the fall until the ground is covered by snow. In the spring, about a month after the snow has melted, the dead weeds will be removed and the new grasses sown.”
The goals of the original planting of native grasses and flowers were to provide an aesthetic and more historic view of the fort from the Willett Center. These plants were also to reduce the number of people walking across the lawn and wearing destructive paths into the fort’s earthworks, as well as to reduce rain and snowmelt runoff toward the Willett Center, the park trail and Black River Boulevard. The spring planting will not be as ambitious as in the past, but will strive to reduce the number of people walking over earthworks without using signs and fences.
Fort Stanwix National Monument is open seven days a week from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the park is free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315) 338-7730. Please visit the park's web page at www.nps.gov/fost for additional information about the park and up to date news about park events.