Montgomery Community Discovers the Wonderful Wildlife of the Montgomery Town Forest
This past week, Montgomery community members discovered and cataloged various types of plants, mammals, birds, and insects in the Montgomery Town Forest during the Montgomery Bioblitz. This event took place over two days and included both a field trip for Montgomery Elementary School students and a public event over the weekend.
The goal of the event was to introduce local community members to the Montgomery Town Forest and encourage folks to develop a connection to their public lands. "Peter Watson gave the town this land, perhaps because he sensed how special it is," Rissa Stein of the Montgomery Conservation Commission explained. "The event was a wonderful opportunity to share that generous gift with the Community while also honoring his foresight of the land's intrinsic beauty and worth."
On Thursday, June 8th, Montgomery Elementary
School students came to explore their Town Forest and learn all about forests, streams, and wildlife. Students rotated through six stations on a variety of topics, including watersheds, stream macroinvertebrates, and tree identification. Students used the app Seek by iNaturalist to help them record species observations. Students learned how to identify lichen, trees, and insects among other kinds of wildlife.
MES Art Teacher Melissa Haberman led a Nature Mandala activity during which the students explored the forest, using teamwork to create circular designs with materials sourced directly from nature. These materials included pine cones, stones, leaves, and flowers.
On Saturday, June 10th, Franklin County NRCD and the Montgomery Conservation Commission invited community members to the Town Forest to explore their public lands. Guests used the iNaturalist app to photograph and identify various species of plants, insects, and animals. More than 80 wildlife observations were cataloged! For many guests, this was the first time they had visited their Town Forest. By combining forest exploration with species identification, guests were able to get to know their public lands and discover the diversity of critters that call the Town Forest home.
This event was part of the 2023 What's Out Here? Series which aims to bring together groups to host events to inspire communities to get outside, explore with others, and learn more about the natural resources around them. The more we know about what's out here, the more we can do to protect and restore! To learn more about the events in the series, please visit: https://www.franklincountynrcd.org/whats-out-here
This event was funded by the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild & Scenic Committee.