Americorps NCCC Team River 4 at Radnor Lake State Natural Area (Week 1 Update)
The AmeriCorps NCCC team River 4 left the southern region campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi on March 6 to serve at Radnor Lake State Natural Area until April 19. AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time, residential, national service program for young adults. AmeriCorps teams complete three to seven projects during their 10 month commitment to serving America. RLSNA is River 4’s first project.
On the first day at the natural area, the eight members of River 4 completed orientation with Radnor Lake staff, including a historical presentation and multiple hiking tours with various rangers. The group particularly liked their time with researcher Dr. Loeb of Penn State University DuBois. Dr. Loeb taught the team about the ecology, history, forestry and general science of Radnor.
The work that River 4 has done so far at Radnor Lake has been tough, but every member of the team gains a sense of satisfaction each time a task is completed. For much of the time, the group has been removing invasive species from the area. Bush Honeysuckle is one of the plants that has tried taking over the area and has prevented native plant species from growing. River 4’s goal has been to tear the nuisances up and get rid of them once and for all, along with other invasive plants, like Privet and Tree of Heaven. The NCCC team cut the plants with loppers and spray them with herbicide, or pull the Honeysuckle up from its roots. For the larger plants, River 4’s sawyers go after them with pole saws, while their swampers are along for help and safety.
The team has been able to work with almost 150 volunteers so far. With the help of small to medium sized groups from secondary schools, church groups, and colleges, River 4 has spread mulch around trails and removed approximately 3 acres of invasive species. Working with other volunteers has created many opportunities for the team to inform others about their program. There is a strong possibility that some of those volunteers from Radnor Lake are future AmeriCorps members.
River 4 is excited about their time at Radnor Lake and all of the work they will be able to accomplish for the Natural Area. The team immediately fell in love with the beauty of the area and are fully committed to helping Radnor Lake State Natural Area in any way that they can. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, please visit www.nationalservice.gov/nccc<http://www.nationalservice.gov/nccc