Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cleanup at Housatonic Flats—Our Second

Last year the Tuesday Berkshire Hikers pulled barbed wire from the old fence line next to the river. This year in early May, we continued pulling more barbed wire, gathered trash from the roadside, debarked logs for signposts and did various other tasks to help prepare the property for spring and summer use. It's amazing what a group of almost twenty people can do!

Housatonic Flats is a Berkshire Natural Resources Council property on Rte. 7 in Great Barrington near the junction of Rte. 183. Formerly it was a grazing field for horses and cattle, and also a dumping ground for unusable equipment, old tires and assorted junk. The junk has been removed and much of the fencing is now gone.

There is a mowed path through the 27 acres of wetlands which is bordered by a half mile curve of the Housatonic River. It's a great 30-minute walk with amazing wildflowers, large cottonwoods and silver maples, and views of the river. And, depending on the time of year, you will hear many song birds and you might see some ducks or water birds.

Mike Leavett and Doug Bruce from Berkshire Natural Resources Council
pack some of the barbed wire we pulled into a large dumpster.
By the end of the day, it was filled with wire and trash!
We found a sun-bleached beaver skull.
The incisor teeth are orange and very strong
to chew through tree trunks and branches.
It will be used by BNRC in their school classes.
It was apple blossom time!
The bark of branches that had been cut last year
were enjoyed by small animals, maybe rabbits or mice or voles.
The property has several large vernal pools.
A rustic bench was added at a spot near the river beside a small beaver dam.

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