Whatcom Creek Trail

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service learning project for Biology 101

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Whatcom Creek Trail

  1. 1. Whatcom Creek Trail 11-16-13 By: Erin Kline
  2. 2. The Trail  Whatcom Creek trail lies alongside Whatcom creek (hence the name). The site was renovated in 2008 and now provides a beautiful habitat for trail goers to view and nature to flourish.
  3. 3. How the day began...  My day began when I arrived at the trail and was greeted by a team from L.E.A.D and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association.
  4. 4. The Goal  The goal of the day was to enhance wildlife and salmon habitat along the creek by planting native species, removing invasive species, and spreading mulch
  5. 5. Invasive Species  Some of the invasive species we removed included:  Himalayan Blackberry  Teasel  Horsetail Ferns
  6. 6. What are invasive species?  Non-native species  Introduction into ecosystem is likely to cause environmental harm  Tend to be an aggressive species that will grow and reproduce rapidly, ultimately causing major disturbance to the ecosystem in which they are present
  7. 7. Why are invasive species bad?    Out-compete native understory vegetation Prevent young native trees access to the sun which is necessary for germination They can grow into dense, impenetrable thickets that may inhibit larger wildlife access to resources such as water and shelter
  8. 8. Mulching  Mulch is essentially a protective layer of a organic material that is spread on top of the soil.  We placed mounds of mulch around young trees.
  9. 9. Benefits of mulch  Provides protection for native species from soil erosion and compaction  Increases water infiltration  Helps to maintains a stable soil temperature  Prevents and reduces weed growth
  10. 10. How does this relate to class?  1. Genetics and evolution  Biodiversity  2. Ecosystem ecology  Competition  3. Human impact  How we hurt  How we can help
  11. 11. Genetics and Evolution     It has been emphasized throughout the quarter that biodiversity is the well-spring of life. Biodiversity increases overall ecosystem health and productivity. A diverse ecosystem is able to prevent and recover from various obstacles whether they be natural or of human cause. By removing invasive species and replacing them with native species, we contribute to the maintenance of a biodiversity within this particular ecosystem.
  12. 12. Ecosystem Ecology   As discussed in lecture, competition between species is a lose-lose situation. In this situation, invasive species outcompete native species. This results in decrease in native species, and a loss of biodiversity.
  13. 13. Human Impact    Humans have astronomical influence on the . environment. We directly and indirectly pollute, destroy and pose as obstacles for ecosystems to overcome. Humans play a role in the introduction of invasive species. As a result, it is up to us to do what we can to alleviate the stress that invasive species pose to healthy ecosystems by removing invasive species and promoting native species
  14. 14. The BIG IDEA  “Humans influence ecosystems for the better or for the worst.”  By taking 3 hours out of my day to give back to the environment that has given so much to me, I would like to think that this project serves an example of how humans can help to influence ecosystems for the better.
  15. 15. Thank you!

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