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Live Blue Ambassadors Remove Invasive Plants on Rail Trail

by Chris Cain
June 29, 2019

Holliston High student Isabella Ceresia organized an effort to remove invasive plant species along the Upper Charles Rail Trail as her NHS project this year.

In addtion to be an NHS member, Isabella is also a volunteer with the New England Aquarium's Live Blue Ambassador (LBA) program. 

Amanda Gallerani, an Educator with the New England Aquarium, is showing us what the dreaded garlic mustard  plant looks like. Amanda was very grateful that Isabella had organized this clean up as an example of how the Ambassadors really are connecting the aquarium with communities in MA and NH.

Through this program the Aquarium enlists student volunteers aged 14 - 18 to work in communities such as Holliston to help improve the environment.  Volunteers register on-line and then can sign up for projects.  There is a one-hour on-line orientation.  From that point on volunteers can participate as much as their schedule allows.  More information about this outreach program offered by the New England Aquarium can be found here. https://www.neaq.org/learn/for-families-teens/teen-programs/live-blue-ambassadors/

Isabella is sporting an example of the invasive plants that thrive along our trail.

I caught up with the group along the trail between Exchange and Arch Streets.  This is the second group to join Isabella to remove bittersweet, buckthorn, black swallow wort, Japanese knotwood, and garlic mustard.  Back on June 16th, the volunteers filled 26 of the large contractor garbage bags with invasive plants.  At the time of my visit, there were already several bags filled.  The weeds will be disposed of by members of the Upper Charles Rail Trail committee at the town recycling center (of course removing the plastic bags to facilitate decomposition).

As a frequent user of the trail - and a part-time member of the volunteer trail maintenance crew - thank you Isabella for bringing your fellow NHS members and the Live Blue Ambassadors together to help keep our trail looking great!

 

 

 

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Comments (3)

Good job well done. Could there be pictures of these plant some where on the trail so walkers could bring bags and pick these plants. Some times it is just nice to be there and stroll. Just an idea

- JEAN MORRISSEY | 7/2/19 9:31 PM

Wonderful! Invasives are destroying woods all over town and in our own backyards. We should all become Ambassadors to rid them. Thank you!

- Mary Greendale | 6/29/19 8:35 PM

Isabella,

Thank you for organizing and carrying out a great project for the Trail. More than 50 large bags of invasive plants were removed and disposed. Thank your large group of volunteers as well. Sorry, I couldn't meet up with your group. The Trail and the environment are much improved because of your efforts.

- Robert Weidknecht | 6/29/19 2:29 PM

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