Zebedee Wetlands Field Trip

Zebedee Wetlands Field Trip

By Brennan Vaughan

The Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course went to Zebedee Wetlands in October of 2019. Zebedee is managed by The UpperValley Land Trust and is a popular bird watching area in Thetford, VT. At Zebedee there is a trail that surrounds a swamp. On the field trip, Scott Ellis (Thetford Outdoor Program Coordinator) pointed out invasive species like buckthorn and honeysuckle. Invasive species can be bad for wildlife and the environment because they were brought here from somewhere else and push out native species.

The class went to Zebedee because we were working on a unit on how to treat buckthorn. Buckthorn is an invasive species that was threatening the health of the Zebedee Wetlands. But because of the amazing effort from the Upper Valley Land Trust the Buckthorn has been mostly stopped. At Zebedee we saw different ways to treat buckthorn. In some places the buckthorn was cut around knee height. This is evidence of a cut stump treatment, where you cut down buckthorn and then apply glyphosate on top of the stump. We also noticed hatchet marks in the bark of dead buckthorn. This was treated by using a special hatchet that you fill with an herbicide so that when you hit the bark of the tree, the blade injects the herbicide into the bark and kills the plant. Seeing how these methods worked helped our class come up with ways that we can treat buckthorn on TA land.

 We are grateful to the Upper Valley Land Trust for treating the buckthorn at Zebedee. The UVLT is a nonprofit organization, whose goal is to protect the habitats and resources in the upper valley. They are treating buckthorn in Zebedee and other local areas because it will improve ecosystem health. On this trip, when we saw places where buckthorn had been removed you can see the native species growing again. It looked a lot healthier and there was more area for native plants and animals. Thank you to the Upper Valley Land Trust for conserving and managing lands like the Zebedee Wetlands.