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It can be difficult to wake up early on a Saturday morning, especially if it is cool and rainy, but on Earth Day, April 22nd, thirty-five volunteers from Oregon State University got up bright and early to pull Scotch broom at Beazell Memorial Forest. The volunteer event was coordinated with the help of the Diverse Perspectives in Forestry Group and the OSU Center for Community Engagement, and included a mix of OSU students, both undergraduate and graduate, alumni, and OSU staff.
The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) is very grateful for the help. Scotch broom removal is an important step in restoring and improving meadow habitat at Beazell, which is home to the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly that has only two remaining populations in Oregon. IAE aims to continue expanding butterfly habitat by planting nectar species for adult butterflies and host species for caterpillars. However, large shrubs, like Scotch broom need to be removed to prepare the site. This work can be a very time and labor intensive, but our enthusiastic volunteers made quick work of it, clearing a large portion of the meadow in a matter of two hours.
We are super excited about the progress made by the group and very thankful for their help! It was a great way to spend Earth Day!