Tag Archives: Invasive Species

The Wildberry Whippersnappers

Ask me what my favorite part of the CCC’s Wildberry Whippersnapper Day was and I’d be hard pressed to select just one moment. Was it the pouncing coyote we passed on the way to the trailhead? Maybe learning that the volunteer working side by side with me had to hurry off by noon because she was volunteering at the Glimmerglass Opera House later that evening? It might have been the sense of triumph upon reaching our other team’s end point, deep in the forest, and knowing that we’d cleared the entire trail. But it also might have been that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I used my new folding saw to carefully and safely remove fallen trees from the trail.

weapons of blackberry destruction
weapons of blackberry destruction

Blackberries and raspberries, while thoroughly delicious, are tough, invasive, and very thorny. They do not make good hiking companions. Cutting them back involves metal weed whips, eye protection, long sleeves, and a sense of humor – hence the Wildberry Whippersnapper epithet. Our trusty mascot, Miss Peeka Mouse, was not in attendance as swinging sharp metal blades was deemed a bit risky for the pup. Safety first, as always!

They look so innocent...
They look so innocent…

We were blessed with great weather and a great crew and a job well done. Next up for the CCC? Ashokan 2: The Revenge has been rescheduled – the new date is August 13. Come on out for another full day of fun and games and hard work and cookies on Ashokan High Point on the 13th, and clear your calendar on Sunday, September 6 for a litter pick up and campsite clean up at Blue Hole. And finally – don’t forget the volunteer picnic on September 12 at the Catskill Interpretive Center. Celebrate a great season of volunteering with your fellow volunteers!

Knotweed Removal From Russell Brook Falls | Saturday, May 16, 2015

Volunteers working on KnotweedThe Catskill Conservation Corps invites volunteers to help remove Japanese Knotweed from the vicinity of Russell Brook Falls on Saturday, May 16. The work site is an easy, short hike from the Russell Brook Trailhead.

Volunteers will be working with Catskill Conservation Corps (CCC) staff, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) staff and others educated in invasive species to remove Japanese Knotweed from the area surrounding Russell Brook Falls.

Volunteers should be sure to wear hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our activities; pack a snack and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated; and bring work gloves. The public is welcome to join work trips of the Catskill Conservation Corps. No experience is necessary and tools and training will be provided on site before we get started.


Pre-registration is required for the event. You can register by calling 518-628-4243, by sending an email to hrolland@nynjtc.org or by completing the registration form below.

Press Announcement for Russell Brook Falls Knotweed Removal

Hike and learn with CRISP!

The Catskill Conservation Corps not only holds events and creates volunteer opportunities – we also support and promote other organizations in their efforts to work with volunteers in the Catskills. We’re delighted to share with you a fun and informative volunteer opportunity happening in Ulster County on May 5, 2015.

iMap Invasives – A CRISP event

Curious if emerald ash borer has made its way to your town? Want to know where the closest patch of black swallowwort is? Come explore the Ashokan Center’s gorgeous campus while you learn how to use the database, meet other volunteers, and learn how to identify the Catskills’ most common invaders. The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) is co-hosting an imap invasives training on Tuesday, May 5th. Imap invasives is a state wide database that gives users access to shared data about the distribution of invasive species. After the event we’ll take a hike around the Ashokan Center’s beautiful trails and map some of their invasives like stilt grass and barberry.

The event takes place at 447 Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge, NY, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Please bring a bagged lunch.

For more information, please contact Molly Marquand at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. 845-586-2611 or mmarquand@catskillcenter.org

From Pest to Pesto! A Culinary Approach to Managing Invasive Plant Species Workshop on Sunday, May 10 in Fleischmanns

nik20110724DSC4802The Second Sundays Trail U series from the Catskill Region – New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Spillian continues with a free workshop to turn garlic mustard from pest to pesto!

Wander on the trails at Spillian to forage for the invasive plant garlic mustard. This early maturing plant competes with some of the most special early spring natives in the Catskills and spreads like wildfire. But, it has two redeeming features! It tastes good. And it’s very good for you — it’s loaded with anti-oxidants.

You’ll forage garlic mustard in the woods and then gather in the Spillian kitchen to make garlic mustard pesto that you can take home with you. Learn how invasive species can be battled with knife and fork!

Bring your mom for Mother’s Day or make pesto for her. Glow with self righteousness as you hand her a healthy, sustainable, home made dinner! No guilt. Serious brownie points. Mama Earth will love you, too…

Be prepared to spend a few hours on the trails around Spillian as part of this workshop. Make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and trail work; pack plenty of water; and bring work gloves.

The even will be led by Will Soter, the Trail Conference’s Southern Catskills Co-Chair and a NYS Outdoor Guide and avid Catskills hiker. Trail Conference Catskills Program Coordinator Heather Rolland, and Spillian CEO and founder, Leigh Melander.

Refreshments will be served and you’ll have enough pesto for dinner when you leave.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register on the Trail Conference website so they know how many folks to prepare for!


About the Presenters:

Molly-Marquand-225x300Molly Marquand joined the Catskill Center in 2012 and as the coordinator of the CRISP program, oversees and organizes efforts to manage invasive species throughout the Catskill region. Molly has also worked with the New York City Natural Resources Group conducting vegetation surveys, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, collecting locally sourced native seed to be used in restoration projects, and the New England Wildflower Society, conducting and coordinating rare plant surveys all over New England. When not at work Molly enjoys hiking with her dogs, riding her horses, and finding interesting plants to identify. Molly holds a B.A in Ecology from Bates college and a Msc in Botany from the University of Reading, England.

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, on staff with the Trail Conference as the Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

Help Monitor for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Catskills

HWACombine your love of environmentalism and hiking and help the Catskills Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) monitor for hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). HWA is an invasive insect that feeds on, and eventually kills, hemlock trees. In an effort to stay abreast of the HWA infestation, and identify priority stands of hemlock for conservation CRISP is currently monitoring hemlock forests throughout the Catskills region. All participants will receive training on hemlock identification, HWA identification, and forest pest survey techniques.

To volunteer for this opportunity, complete the volunteer survey and indicate your interest in Invasive Species and in the comments section indicate your are interested in HWA monitoring!