Throughout its nearly 50-year histry, ChicoryLane Farm has evolved through a series of specific undertakings. These have included transitioning from traditional agriculture, to placing the entiire fram in a conservation eassement, to contracting with the USDA's Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) to create a 16-acre native grassland and a 13-acre native hardwood forest, encouraging an emergent woodland in a repurposed marginal pasture, to managing several exisiting wetlands as well as creating new ones. All of these areas require on-going maintenance and the occasional project-level sweep to address a particular invasive or other problem.
We dare not let our guard down, but these large scale efforts have now enabled us to shift some of our attention to smaller, more focussed efforts. We are trying to put flesh on the bones of the idea of Ecological Enahncement. In doing so, we hope to open up new dimensions and new insights into ChicoryLane's extraordinary ecological richness and further potential.
Ecological Enhancement ConceptThese projects within ChicoryLane are focused on specific areas on a scale of one to several acres, appropriate for individual landowner engagement. The goal is to improve the ecological quality of the particular area. This is done by addressing a need or opportunity, identifying natural features and native plant species found in the area, and then increase or decrease their numbers as deemed appropriate. New compatible species may also be introduced. The rule of thumb, though, is to rcognize the elements within an area, make changes for specific reasons, balanced against preserving what is already present.
Individual project areas are shown on the Projects Map. They include fifteen current projects in three colors: blue (Riparian), green (Palustrine) and buff (Terrestrial). The three project types are described below. Selecting one of those project types leads to a description of the individual projects of that type and links to further details for each.
Riparian ProjectsRiparian terrain occurs in close proximity to flowing waters, including streams and rivers. Our earliest enhancement projects are riparian and were begun several years ago. More recently, they ahve received considerable more emphasis and we anticipate more this current year. All are situated along the streams we call Brush Mountain Run and Green Grove Run.Current projects are four: the North and SouthWest sections of Brush Mountain Run and Two Easterns sections of Green Grove Run, the first of which adjoins the residential and enterprise areas of the property.
Palustrine ProjectsPalustrine sites included in this section all represent some form of wetland - specifically, some form of nontidal or nonflowing water system. ChicoryLane wetlands include Vernal Pools, and Old Farm Pond, a Calamus Marsh, a Wet Meadow, and a former wet field that has been converted into a Mixed Palustrine Hardwood White Pine successional forest.
Current projects are four: the Vernal Pools, the Front Field Plustreme Succsessional Forest, the Farm Pond, and the Wet Meadow.
Terrestrial ProjectsTerrestrial lands are upland areas, often forested and relatively dry in contrast to Reparian or Palustrine lands. The Terrestrial sites included in this Enhancement project are widely scattered over ChicoryLane's 68 acres. They include a mast fruit area, an incline shoulder dominated by Locust trees, and two successional forest areas.
Current enhancement projects are four: the Mulberry Hill, the Locust Shoulder, Succsessional Forest East, and Succsessional Forest West. Two other terrestrial sites - a twelve acre reforestation project (Red Oak - Mixed Northern Hardwood) and a 16 acree native grassland - are undergoing maintenance and refurbishing, but these efforts do not rise to the level of enhancement.
Projects StatusesProject-by-project outline of major tasks completed and tasks incomplete or not begun