25 Jun River Cane Restoration
Rivercane is a species of running bamboo, also known as giant cane. It is currently being bombarded by invasive species and is simply outcompeted by other species of vegetation here at Ocmulgee. Rivercane was once the dominant species here, covering most of the land. However, due to anthropogenic interactions with the environment, the rivercane is now suffering at an all-time low. My specific project is the Rivercane Restoration Project that entails aiding in the restoration of rivercane and halting the growth of other species where rivercane needs to grow.
The image above is where we are trying to grow rivercane and restore it within the area, the image is before any work was done so absolutely no clearing. This was done before I got to the park by the Natural Resource Team. As you can see it was pretty thick and dense with vines, invasives, and a large amount of foliage.
The site was then cleared as best as possible and soon after, rivercane would be planted in hopes of creating another great area where the giant cane can flourish and thrive on its own.
While this may seem like one large site and the entire process was linear and had well expectations, there is actually a lot more going on than at first glance. Towards the right of the first picture, there is a blue ribbon stretching across the site, this is used to separate the section in half. Much of the Rivercane that was used for the site is all of different ages and much of what the Natural Resource team is doing is experimental or trial and error. Half were direct soil-soil clusters from various areas around Ocmulgee and the other half were potted plants from numerous locations in order to ensure a decent genetic diversity for a better likelihood of survival. The second image was taken once everything was done, all the giant cane was planted along with the proper soil in order to ensure better soil moisture retention.
When I arrived for my first week at the park, the Natural Resource team and I cleared all of the new growth of invasive stilt grass as seen in the image on the left. They removed the stilt grass by hand as I went behind them and placed mulch down as seen in the image on the right in order to ensure less regrowth and protect the compost from being washed away. This was a big project that is not completely done today, but a work in progress and will continue to be a work in progress. I am researching ways to help the rivercane grow in this area and ways to further stop the spread and growth of new invasive species.