SPACE Receives Grant for Cottonwood Trail Habitat Restoration; Work to Commence Winter 2019

The Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) will initiate a habitat restoration project on Cottonwood Trail this winter. The project will remove invasive species, such as privet and elaeagnus (silverberry), on a 13-acre portion of the popular 116-acre nature preserve. Funding support for the project is provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) “Environmental Quality Incentive Program.”

“We have a serious invasive species problem on Cottonwood Trail,” notes SPACE executive director Andrew Waters. “Although we’ve enjoyed a long partnership with the Trees Coalition, unfortunately the problem is more than we can manage with volunteer work. We are so grateful to NRCS for their financial support of this restoration initiative.”

Waters said portions of the trail system may be closed for brief periods this winter while the initial work is completed. “We’ll be taking out a ton of privet, so it will be quite a visual impact for regular users of the trail. We just want to assure everyone that we’re only taking out the bad stuff, none of our native plants and hardwoods.”

The project will take three years to complete, Waters said. “Our goal is to use this area as a pilot project. If we’re successful on this 13-acre portion, we’ll apply for additional NRCS funding to address invasives on other areas of the preserve.”

Waters said the initial phase of the project will be completed with contract labor. “We may have some volunteer opportunities later in the winter,” he said. He said SPACE is working with a local horticulturist on a native plant restoration proposal, which must be funded separately. “The NRCS funding is only for invasive removal. As we move through the project, we hope to raise funds to restore the project area with native species.”

For more information please contact Andrew Waters at andrew@spartanburgconservation.org or 864-948-0000.

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