Volunteer spotlight: Folks at Faulkes Heritage Woods

By Catherine Wilson on April 9, 2015 in Blog

Walking through snow in Iowa in early March turns into a rewarding experience for these 17 volunteers from INHF, Trees Forever, the City of Marion Parks and Rec. and Winding Pathways, LLC. The group cleaned Japanese barberry from Faulkes Heritage Woods near Marion.

One of the best kept secrets in Linn County is the 110-acre Faulkes Heritage Woods – located on the Cedar Rapids/Marion border just south of Highway 100 and east of I-380.

On a snowy Saturday in March, 17 volunteers from INHF, Trees Forever, the City of Marion Parks and Recreation and Winding Pathways, LLC, enlisted hand saws and loppers to spring clean the invasive Japanese barberry from the area.

Cutting barberry stems

Volunteers use loppers to cut Japanese barberry bush.

Applying glyphosate to barberry stump

The herbicide, glyphosate, is applied to the barberry stumps.

treated barberry stumps

Green marks the treated barberry stumps.

INHF Program and Development Assistant Andrea Piekarczyk led the group in the second annual clean-up day. Though the temperatures were still chilly, workers realized it was easier to cut the brush before warm weather brought new growth. “We had a perfect confluence of cool temperatures, sunny skies, and a specific goal to give a great feeling of accomplishment. We also were ready to head inside after two hours of work,” said Piekarczyk.

A conservation easement on the land was donated to INHF by sisters Alice Smith and Elizabeth Barry and their nieces, Nancy Thompson and Cynthia Thompson. The natural habitat was named in honor of Alice Faulkes, the grandmother and great-grandmother of the four women.

The city of Marion dedicated it as a natural park for low-impact public use and a wildlife habitat as the site contains woodlands, footpaths and shoreline along both sides of Indian Creek. According to INHF Land Projects Specialist Ross Baxter, the easement allows public access, mushroom harvesting, environmental education classes, and the construction of a non-motorized vehicle trail along the railroad right-of-way. It restricts the addition of buildings, shelters, picnic tables, livestock, billboards and other structures.

INHF will be hosting multiple volunteer events in the coming months. Find out about how and where you can help here.