Noble View enjoys a long history of conservation,
from the settlers and farmers who first made use of the land, to the
volunteers who care for the property today.
Below are descriptions of our ongoing efforts to
preserve and protect this unique
natural resource, and to exercise responsible stewardship of the land.
Over the last five years, we have removed much of
the scrub and small tree growth that took over the meadow north of the
west of the Double Cottage, and between the treeline and the stone wall
east of the barn. We plan to seed the meadow with native grasses, and
will maintain the growth at an optimal height for wildlife.
We’ve also cut fire breaks to the northeast of the North Cottage, and
will maintain these areas, as well as the hillside to the east of the
Cottage, as habitat for birds and small animals.
We’ve done a lot of work to restore the wall along
the entry road west of the barn, and the walls that border the north
edges of the meadows to the north of the buildings.
Please join us
as we continue to work on this project. Restoration work days will be
posted on the News and Events page.
Invasive plants are non-native species that have
spread into native or minimally managed plant systems. These plants
cause economic or environmental harm by developing self-sustaining
populations that dominate and/or disrupt native ecosystems. Apart from
forming dense stands that crowd or shade out natives, invasive species
can alter ecosystem processes such as hydrology, soil chemistry, and
the frequency of natural fires.
The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) has three
classifications for invasives: Invasive (a non-indigenous plant
with the biologic potential for rapid and widespread dispersion and
establishment in minimally managed habitats); Likely Invasive
(a non-native species that is naturalized in Massachusetts but not yet
widespread), and Potentially Invasive (a non-native species not
currently known to exist in Massachusetts, but expected to become
invasive in the future).
The best method of control for invasive plants is prevention.
Preventing intentional spread through horticulture, and removing or
killing invasive plants when they are first spotted, can avoid
significant problems later on. Where invasives have become established,
removal can be accomplished through hand-pulling, mowing, cutting, or,
rarely, the use of herbicides.
(The above is adapted from MIPAG's
Guide to Invasive Plants in Massachusetts.)
Download MIPAG's list of
At Noble View, invasives established in our woods
and meadows include
Japanese barberry, autumn olive, burning bush, Bell's honeysuckle,
Oriental bittersweet, garlic-mustard, purple loosestrife, and many
more. As part of our stewardship of the property, we will hold
invasive plant removal workdays.
If you're interested in participating, please check the News and Events
page for schedules.
VERNAL POOL CERTIFICATION
We plan to pursue the certification of Noble View's
pools with the Massachusetts Division
of Fisheries and Wildlife. For certification, a pool must be located on
two maps, and show evidence of obligate species.
A vernal pool is a contained basin depression
lacking a permanent above-ground outlet. In the Northeast, the basin
fills with water with the rising water table of fall and winter, or
with the meltwater and runoff of
winter and spring snow and rain. Many vernal pools in the Northeast are
covered with ice during the winter. They contain water for only a few
months in the spring and early summer; by late summer, a vernal pool is
generally (though not always) dry.
Because of its periodic drying, a vernal pool does not support
breeding populations of fish. However, many organisms have evolved to
temporary wetlands. Such organisms are known as "obligate" species,
because vernal pools are essential to certain parts of their life
cycle. There are ways to recognize a vernal pool even after it has
dried up, but obligate species are the main determinant. In New
England, the easily recognizable
obligate species are fairy shrimp, mole salamanders, and wood frogs.
Fairy shrimp are small (about 1 inch) crustaceans that spend their
entire lives in a vernal pool. Eggs hatch in late
Females eventually drop an egg case, which remains on the pool bottom
after the pool dries. The eggs pass through a cycle of drying and
freezing, and hatch out when water returns.
Wood frogs are amphibians native to upland forests. They venture to
vernal pools in early spring, lay their eggs, and return to the moist
woodland for the remainder of the year. Tadpoles develop in the
pool and eventually follow the adults to adjacent uplands.
Mole salamanders are also upland organisms. They spend most of
their lives in burrows on the forest floor. On rainy
nights in the spring, they migrate to ancestral vernal pools to mate
and lay their
eggs, returning afterward to the forest. The eggs develop in the pool.
By the time the pool dries, the young have emerged to begin their life
as terrestrial animals.
(The above is adapted from the website of The Vernal