The concept of stewardship is becoming increasingly important as land is set aside for protection. Stewardship includes analyzing a parcel of land and deciding how it may have been in the past, what changes have taken place -some man-made, others from natural occurrences- and determining how to maintain or restore the land. An introduction to stewardship that is descriptive is in Once and Future Forest, by Leslie Jones Sauer, “Protection of the land has not necessarily protected the landscape. We all contribute to the degradation – from the mountain biker gouging a rutted trail up a steep slope to the birder who steps off the path for a better view……Less visible but no less serious is the damage done daily by atmospheric pollutants from vehicles, industry and other energy consumption.”
Montgomery Township works largely through volunteer efforts to restore and maintain the landscapes in our area. The Open Space Committee studies a preserved area and determines the best way to “manage” it. Volunteers are welcome to come out to offer help in planting seedlings, removing exotic plants that may have overtaken a landscape, or creating pathways for walking. Stewardship of land has costs associated with it. Montgomery Friends of Open Space has to conduct studies called baseline reports when we are preserving lands. A baseline report basically documents all of the natural resources, plants, animals, soils, birds, and land use in a given property. The conservation values of the land must be maintained and protected. This activity costs money and Montgomery Friends of Open Space sets aside funding to conduct this work. Contributions are welcome to help with stewardship costs. All contributions to Montgomery Friends of Open Space are tax-deductible. Donate.
Land Stewards are also welcome! No experience is necessary! If you have a love of the outdoors and nature, we would welcome your help during a weekend day or weekday (we are flexible) to clear exotic plants, install deer exclusions, or tree protectors. Please visit our volunteer page.
We have had some terrific work days with teams of volunteers and most recently a team of Johnson & Johnson employees. Click on any image above to see a larger version.