Wenonah Environmental Commission

Home
Who We Are
Current Projects
Trail System
Get Involved
Lawn Care
Galleries
Links
Contact Us

Current Projects

These are a few of our larger projects now underway.  See also the meeting minutes for the very latest status updates.  Completed projects are listed on the Accomplishments page.

  1. Maple Ridge Land Preservation
  2. Comey's Lake
  3. Invasive Species
  4. Trail Maintenance
  5. Purple Loosestrife

MAPLE RIDGE LAND PRESERVATION

The Maple Ridge Golf Course, located at the intersection of Woodbury-Glassboro Road and Bark Bridge Road, has been closed since December, 2006.  (The property formerly was operated under the names Tall Pines and Eagle's Nest.)  The 110-acre site, which is split between Deptford and Mantua Townships, was purchased by the State of New Jersey in November, 2015 and will become a nature preserve. Since 2010, a committee of local citizens called Friends of Maple Ridge has been working to bring this nature preserve into existence.  Several members of the WEC are involved in this effort.

For more information:


COMEY'S LAKE

Following the successful completion of our Synnott's Pond Project, the WEC is turning its attention toward Comey's Lake.  Accumulated silt is filling in the northern end of the lake at an alarming rate.  In addition, summertime blooms of duckweed create an unsightly green growth visible throughout the surface of the lake.  The WEC is tackling both the funding and engineering challenges necessary to ensure that Comey's Lake remains a vibrant recreational resource for years to come. 

 

 

 


INVASIVE SPECIES

The plant choices you make in your yard can have a direct impact on your neighbors' yards as well as the Conservation Lands.  As the WEC continues to create the "Ring of Green" around the borough, we want to make sure that the Conservation Lands are not overrun with undesirable, non-native plants.

Here is a list of some species that pose particular problems in the area:

  • English Ivy
  • Wisteria
  • Periwinkle
  • Norway Maple
  • Japanese Bamboo  (Knotweed)
  • Bamboo
  • Pachysandra
  • Burningbush
  • Oriental Bittersweet
  • Callery Pear
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Purple Loosestrife

You can see pictures of some of these trespassers in the Invasive Species Gallery.  We will be adding both pictures and textual information over time to help you understand "What" these species are, "Why" they need to be controlled, and "How" to control them.


TRAIL MAINTENANCE

With over six miles of trails and 40 bridges in the middle of the great outdoors, constant maintenance work is a given.  Major construction is generally done during the cooler times of year.  During the summer, we focus on trimming back vegetation.

Whenever the water rises along the Mantua Creek, our trail handiwork is put to the test!

This is the same area in September 2004, after a dousing from Tropical Storm Jeanne.


PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a flowering marsh plant which originated in Europe and Asia.  Introduced to America around 1800 as a garden and medicinal plant, it is now found in all contiguous U.S. states except Florida and in most Canadian provinces.  In North America, it lacks any natural enemies, causing it to rapidly crowd out other plant life.  Animals and insects can suffer from a reduction in their normal food sources and shelter locations.

Locally, purple loosestrife has been rapidly colonizing the Mantua Creek marsh south of the Mantua Avenue bridge.  Each of these plants can generate up to 3 million seeds per year!  Because these seeds are spread by both wind and water, there is every reason to believe the infestation, left unchecked, will grow much worse over time.

Mechanical removal of these plants is not practical due to their hardy roots.  Herbicides are another option, but repeated and heavy applications are required, possibly endangering the surrounding ecosystem.  The most promising control strategy is biological control: insects which feed on the roots, leaves, or flowers of the purple loosestrife.

In October, 2004, after consulting with a State insect specialist, the WEC voted to purchase 6000 Galerucella beetles for introduction into the marsh in the spring of 2005.  These beetles feed exclusively on the leaves of the purple loosestrife plant.  It is hoped that the beetles will multiply over a period of years, bringing the loosestrife population under control.

The beetles were released on top of several loosestrife stands in Mantua Creek on May 27th, 2005.  You can see pictures of the release here.  As of summer 2012, the amount of loosestrife in the marsh has been reduced by over 50%.  A group of hungry beetles can do significant damage to a loosestrife plant.