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Sabine Woods Work Day Report, March 12, 2011


A very successful work day was held at Sabine Woods on March 12, with 16 volunteers participating.  All the numerous tasks necessary to prepare the Woods for the birders and migrants were accomplished.
During the week before the Work Day, Howard Davis brought his tractor and brushhog and mowed round all the newly planted trees in the eastern section of the sanctuary. When the trees become better established, we will be doing this less frequently, but in the meantime, we need to reduced the competition for water and nutrients and also try to finish dealing with the McCartney Rose in the area. Despite significant rains in the Beaumont-Nederland-Port Arthur area, the Woods have received very little, and we watered the new trees during the workday. Also in the days before the work day, Gary Kelley, assisted by several other volunteers, finished the Chimney Swift tower, which is now ready for occupancy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, we have a significant number of dead trees that are still standing. For trees that are near the trails, we are now being proactive rather than reactive, and Andy Allen took down a number of quite tall trees that might have fallen across or near trails. We cut these trees down for safety reasons, but we have not removed them (although we did move them off the trails) and we are letting nature take its course. We have a number of brush piles that are very attractive to many birds! Andy also built two more benches and these were installed in suitable locations inside the Woods. We mowed or weed-eated all the trails inside and around the woods, and mowed the two or three meadow areas where we are still keeping the grass short for rose control purposes. We also dealt with overhanging small branches to keep the trails clear in that dimension also. We brush hog the areas in the north part of the Woods on a rotating basis when they become too overgrown. This work day, we brush hogged the area in the northwest quadrant of the Woods. This is an area which is quite badly infested by rose and has never been very accessible. We plan to keep some trails open in that area and to work on the rose. We completed numerous other small tasks including dealing with weeds trying to grow in the paved walkways, dealing with fire ants that are, unfortunately, still present, and we repaired and remounted the owl box.
We thank all the volunteers who participated in this Work Day:
Andy Allen, Howard Davis, John Haynes, Levie Horton, Harrison Jordan, Denise and Gary Kelley, Steve Kuritz, Carlo Lynn and Andy Loker, Steve Mayes, Richard Orgeron, Sherrie Roden, Christine Sliva, and Jana Whittle.
John A. Whittle
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