Committee Spotlight: Ecology
The Ecology Committee’s mission is to help determine and accomplish the environmental and conservation goals of the PCA. The committee includes PCA Board members and volunteers with a wide range of experience and expertise. Current members are: Scott Budd, Tim Donovan, Dan Flesch, Steven (Spider) Fromader, Mike Penn and Kris Wright. We aim to make the trail both beautiful for users and ecologically sustainable, primarily through the reestablishment of native habitat. Our vision is to recreate the mix of prairie (grassland), savanna (sparse trees) and woodland habitats that once flourished along the stream.
Ecology committee members here winter sowing native grass and flower seeds and sharing their expertise with the community
This is the “long view” which will take decades of commitment. Currently we are striving to make incremental improvements one step at a time, such as the in-progress restoration areas behind High Vibe Fitness and along the stream between light poles #89 and #94 (highlighted in the figures below).
Several committee members also do “hands-on” trail maintenance spending countless hours cutting, pulling and digging. Our biggest challenge is removing invasive species such as honeysuckle, burdock, garlic mustard and dame’s rocket. These aggressive plants crowd out desirable species. The extensive efforts of volunteers (especially in the last few years) have resulted in substantially reducing the populations of invasives—but the battle is on-going. This has been, and will continue to be, critical to meeting our goal of reestablishing native habitats of grasses, sedges, flowers and trees.