Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Improves Wetlands and Conducts Citizen Science Monitoring
Thirty-eight volunteers gathered along the future home of the Loop the Lake Trail extension on Saturday, June 3, to plant trees and native wetland plants, and participate in citizen science monitoring by tracking bird species. The volunteers are part of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, an expanding organization of community volunteers who are contributing to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed.
“Onondaga Lake is a priority for Onondaga County Parks. The work done by County Parks around Onondaga Lake, and elsewhere, would not be possible without committed volunteers,” said Onondaga County Parks Commissioner Bill Lansley. “We look forward to continuing the community’s vision of completing the Loop the Lake Trail and support the volunteerism the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is promoting through these events.”
Enhancements to 18 acres of diverse wetlands along Onondaga Lake’s southwest shoreline are supplying aquatic and fish spawning habitat. The enhanced wetlands are attracting a wide array of birds and wildlife and playing a significant role in creating a healthy Onondaga Lake watershed and a sustainable ecosystem. More than 900 native plants and trees were installed along the shoreline on Saturday, including swamp white oak, cardinalflower, common rush, and speckled alder.
Volunteers identified 29 bird species during the event. Notable species identified include Willow Flycatcher, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Common Tern, and Dunlin.
On the shores of Onondaga Lake and along the lake’s tributaries, Honeywell is improving a total of 87 acres of wetlands and planting about 1.1 million native plants, shrubs, and trees. To date, nearly 600,000 shrubs and trees have been planted. More than 70 acres of wetlands have been restored.
The Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.
Partners of the Corps include Audubon New York, Montezuma Audubon Center, Onondaga Audubon Society, Parsons, OBG, Anchor QEA, Bond Schoeneck & King, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Habitat Gardening in Central New York, and Honeywell.
To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://ny.audubon.org/OLCC or call 315-365-3588. Schools, community groups, local organizations, and individuals are welcome. Like the Corps on Facebook or visit YouTube to learn more.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.
View more photographs of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.