NATIVE RETURN®’S MANOR ROAD PROJECT RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS Wildlife at Work℠ CERTIFICATION for implementing a COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE HABITAT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, awarded by the WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL
President of Native Return®, LLC Christina Kobland recently received notification that the Wildlife Habitat Council has commended Exelon Corporation/PECO and its employees at Exelon Corporation/PECO’s Manor Road Right of Way project on achieving Wildlife at Work℠ certification for the successful implementation of a comprehensive wildlife habitat management program.
In order to increase available habitat for wildlife, the Exelon Corporation/PECO Manor Road ROW team partnered with Native Return®, LLC/Weeds Inc. to remove invasive plant species from the right of way to make room for native plants which provide many more benefits for the site, including alleviating storm water runoff, stabilizing the soil from erosion, and encouraging more wildlife to inhabit the site.
The major land use of the Manor Road ROW site is as a right-of-way for distribution and transmission power lines and is located near Miquon Train station and adjacent to a county bike trail in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County. Manor Road ROW is comprised of 24 acres which include a roadway embankment area and a stream bed area. The main habitat found onsite is native grassland with a riparian area where Manor Creek runs through the site near the roadway.
The site’s wildlife team is actively managing 20 acres of the grassland and 4 acres of riparian area. Since 2007, the site has had multiple improvements including the removal of invasive plants which were replaced with natives, along with the addition of deer fencing around small shrubs, bird, bee and butterfly houses, bat boxes and a decorative fence to prevent vandalism.
In order to increase available habitat for wildlife, the Manor Road wildlife team partnered with Native Return®,LLC /Weeds Inc. in order to remove invasive plant species from the right-of-way. This made room, instead, for native plants which provide many more benefits for the site including alleviating storm-water runoff, stabilizing the soil from erosion, and encouraging more wildlife to inhabit the site. After mowing the area and spraying the invasives with herbicide, the wildlife team planted a native seed mix which included big bluestem, little bluestem, side oats grama, and Indiangrass. In 2008, Native Return LLC/Weeds Inc. performed additional invasive control and re-seeded where necessary.
The team is also concerned about decreasing erosion on their right-of-way, so in 2008 with the assistance of Native Return®, LLC/Weeds Inc., both the edge of the stream and several steep embankments were treated with herbicide and then planted with a total of 450 low-lying native plants and grasses. Deer fencing was also installed in some locations to decrease excessive browsing.
In 2009 and 2010, the wildlife team installed several wildlife enhancements in order to further attract wildlife to utilize the site’s habitat areas. Bat boxes, purple martin houses, a bee hive, butterfly houses, and bird houses for several species including bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, woodpeckers, screech owls, and kestrel have all been placed onsite, and will continue to be monitored for activity.
In 2012 five additional bluebird boxes and an additional kestrel box were added to the site. Native Return monitors the site quarterly for wildlife and invasive plant activity in order to maintain the native plant population to the benefit of wildlife.
Christina Kobland is very pleased to participate in this ongoing project and to have contributed to Exelon Corporation/PECO’s receipt of this award.
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgg5YviLhuA for a video showing the site.