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Aquatic Plantings at North Pond

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North Pond Emergent Zone
Eager to create an enhanced habitat and able to take lessons from the initial round of aquatic planting, we’re taking several steps to help our chances of success this season. Water levels this summer will be kept lower than usual so our fledgling plants have less depth between themselves and the surface, allowing them to process more sunshine. The wee plants are also getting planted at the start of summer, after the water and soil have warmed and with a full season to set down roots. A variety of hydrophilic native species are being planted to increase biodiversity, and importantly, they are being planted at species-specific depths along the pond edge, which varies greatly in different areas. These species include several sedges, rushes and a few beautiful bloomers—iris, pickerelweed, and hibiscus. For protection, enclosures were partially constructed prior to plants being installed so that they could be closed off immediately afterward to minimize the risk of herbivory on the vulnerable new residents.     
Though they have their drawbacks, enclosures are necessary to give new aquatic plants a chance to establish so that North Pond can have a healthy shoreline and thriving ecosystem. There isn’t a better way to protect small, fragile plants from being nibbled away and uprooted by geese who can weigh up to 20 pounds. Using limited exclusion is an ecological compromise that protects enhancement efforts, thereby creating space for greater diversity in flora and fauna, with minimal impacts on existing wildlife who have ample habitat outside the enclosures.  
North Pond Emergent Zone plantings
A primary purpose of this project being to enhance habitat and increase biodiversity, mitigating impacts to wildlife is a top priority. Enclosures are purposefully limited to a few circumscribed zones, leaving most of the Pond and shoreline open. Enclosures and planting were timed to be simultaneous and after spring migration to minimize disturbance to traveling birds. And as soon as the plants are established, the enclosures will be removed, to the delight of humans and animals, alike. 
 
Learn more about our continued work in the North Pond Nature Sanctuary below

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