The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help with January projects in two wildlife areas – restoring an ancient sand ridge forest on the Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Bethel, and removing invasive Japanese wisteria in the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area in Townsend.


The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help with January projects in two wildlife areas – restoring an ancient sand ridge forest on the Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Bethel from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 8, and removing invasive Japanese wisteria in the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area in Townsend from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16 and 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 17.

“These are ongoing projects, and volunteers have been working hard to restore these important areas,” said Lynne Staub, volunteer services coordinator with the Division of Fish and Wildlife. “For these work dates, we’re hoping to involve more volunteers to complete the removal of wisteria at the Cedar Swamp site and continue to improve habitat at the Nanticoke site.”

 

Nanticoke Wildlife Area

In November, Fish and Wildlife conservation staff and volunteers began work to restore an ancient sand ridge forest, a forest composed mostly of oaks and pines that develops on ridges or dunes. The goal of the project is to re-establish ancient sand ridge forest in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area to provide habitat for species of concern such as the frosted elfin, a rare butterfly that depends on plant species found only in Delaware’s ancient sand ridge forests.

Volunteers will be cutting up and removing downed trees and limbs, and planting native plant species at the restoration sites. The work involves bending, lifting and possible use of handsaws, shovels and loppers. Work gloves, shovels, handsaws and loppers will be provided, but volunteers also may bring their own. Volunteers are asked to meet at the entrance gate to the Nanticoke Wildlife Area on Red House Road, just off of Woodland Ferry Road, south of Seaford and close to Bethel.

 

Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area

In October, volunteers began removal of a large colony of Japanese wisteria vines, an invasive vine that out-competes native plants, girdles trees and blankets native wildlife habitat. Two days are scheduled in January to continue this project. The second day, Monday, Jan. 17, coincides with Martin Luther King Day, which is designated as a day of community service to honor the contributions of Dr. King.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area parking area on Thoroughfare Neck Road in Townsend. Work gloves and hand tools such as pruners, handsaws and loppers will be provided, but volunteers also may bring their own.

Due to the nature of the work, both projects are recommended for adults and older youth (age 13 and over) only. Volunteers also are strongly encouraged to pre-register with contact information in case of inclement weather leading to postponement.

For more information or to sign up for these projects, call Lynne Staub at 302-735-3600 or email lynne.staub@state.de.us. For information on other volunteer opportunities with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/volunteers.