[CT Birds] Sherwood Island State Park

lpflynn at optonline.net lpflynn at optonline.net
Thu Oct 29 22:27:43 EDT 2009

Hi Folks,
I walked around Sherwood Island State Park today, I haven't been to the Spruce Forest area since spring time, this is the area where the Crossbills and many other bird and other wildlife species have been viewed in the past, west of the entrance pay booth.
I was floored by the tremendous growth of invasive plant species (porcelien berry, wineberry, japanese honeysuckle, oriental.bittersweet and others) totally dominating the existing evergreens in this area since the spring.
At this point there are few trees that have not been covered with invasives, if not partially; then in total; with a number of trees that were healthy just a few years ago; dead today.
It is sad to see this important wildlife area being choked to death before our eyes, but I guess at least the Canada Geese will enjoy the grass that will be planted there when these trees are gone.
I have noted that much work has been done in the park to eradicate phragmite and autumn olive, the phragmite consuming native saltmarsh grasses, but the autumn olive hardly choking out any native species within the park, in fact on the nature trail you will find porcelien berry strangling the autumn olive. 
Anyway, in lower Fairfield County these evergreen stands are hard to come by especially with all the development and fragmentation that has occurred, I want to believe the managers of this area would want to conserve this stand as a healthy ecosystem within a State Park and be proud of it.
Perhaps I am just wrong.
Larry Flynn

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