Weed Warriors Summer 17 Update: New GIS Intern!
Welcome our new Weed Warrior GIS Intern, Victoria Rivard!
Victoria has joined the BCRP Forestry team this summer to help build the departments capacity to track and monitor invasive vegetation control and restoration projects. Victoria, a junior at Towson majoring in Environmental Studies with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems, has created an application, utilizing ArcGIS collector to track invasive species throughout parks in Baltimore City. The application will be taken to high priority areas within the parks to survey the invasive species present. The application allows Forestry staff to data from each site critical to the restoration planning and management plant development process. The areas are surveyed to help locate potential sites for volunteer and forestry restoration projects as well as to develop management goals and prioritization strategies. The surveying will help forestry staff determine how best to focus efforts, where to send volunteers and how to maintain these these pesky invasives areas over time. Additionally, the application will allow staff to return to the site to track and monitor restoration progress for both the eradication of invasive plants and in some cases planting of natives. Ridding these areas from invasive species will allow native species (especially trees!) to thrive as well as native summer edibles like blackberries, blueberries, serviceberries, persimmons and pawpaws! This will overall boost the local ecosystem within the city.
The Weed Warriors program is evolving to incorporate new and exciting projects. The vital hard work Victoria is completing as part of her internship will greatly facilitate new and upcoming projects to battle invasive vegetation in our parks and urban green spaces! This work has become crucial in the preparation and planning for new staff that will be joining the Forestry Division this fall to expand our invasive management and restoration efforts. Stay tuned for updates!