Site Walk & Species Identification

BERWICK, ME — On May 27, 2017, a group of interested citizens got together to walk the Great Falls Park site with expert ecologists Mary Mazur and Johnny Pazdon, of Coyote Club Wildlife Education. The group explored the north and south ends of the site, noting soil composition, plant species, and other noteworthy features to consider when designing the site.

The group created a basic species inventory, including observations of invasive species, and categorized them from "Least Desirable" to "Most Desirable". Trees such as Chestnuts, Red Oak, White Ash, Apple, Black Cherry, American Elm, Sugar Maple, Basswood, and Black Locust were all noted as most desirable species due to their native standing, erosion control properties, or other ecological benefit. 

Understory perennials such as wild currents, jack-in-the-pulpits, meadowrue, false soloman's seal, horsetail, phlox, asters, ferns, violets, dandelions, were also noted as most desirable species due to their native standing, pollinator habitat, or other ecological benefit. 

Invasive species in the least desirable category included poison ivy, bittersweet vines, barberry, and burning bush. Multi-floral rose was noted as a very pervasive invasive in the area, but one that didn't look like it was going anywhere. The group noted that since it provides pollinator food and understory habitat for small animals, it may be best to manage and not attempt full removal. 

Serena Galleshaw