Identifying and Tagging Tree Species for Removal and Revitalization Within the Dalhousie University Ocean Pond
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The Ocean Pond is a space on Dalhousie Campus that was developed by faculty and students to create an area that replicated the natural forest ecosystem of Nova Scotia (Clark, 2006). The native ecosystem in Nova Scotia is Acadian forest, which is an ecosystem that consists of tree species such as Eastern White Pine and Red Spruce (Simpson, 2008). The Ocean Pond has not been maintained in recent years and for this reason, with the assistance of Sue Gass and Amy Mui, we chose to research how to revitalize the pond and we began the process ourselves. We worked in the Ocean Pond to identify, tag, and measure invasive tree species for removal. In order to identify the species and decide which to remove, we worked with James Steenburg and Kendra Marshman. We chose to remove two invasive tree species which were the European Ash and the Norway Maple. We used flagging tape to identify each tree. Afterwards, we measured the diameter at breast height of each tree we had tagged so that they can be removed. We recorded this data and analyzed the results. The majority of trees we tagged for removal were European Ash trees and the total diameter at breast height for all the trees measure was 904.9 centimeters. After the invasive tree species are removed, they will be replaced with species native to Nova Scotia. The first two species we recommend to replant with are Red Oak and Eastern White Pine because these trees are native to the Acadian Forest and they were present on Dalhousie University campus before the land was cleared. These species are also a good choice because they will likely survive climate change. The third species we recommend for replanting with is Black Ash. This species is culturally significant to some indigenous groups within Nova Scotia (Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources, 2005) and is a native species to Nova Scotia. As part of the revitalization process, we chose to consider how to make the Ocean Pond more appealing as an outdoor learning classroom or laboratory. We identified which classes may be able to involve use and maintenance of the Ocean Pond in their curriculum in order to reach their learning objectives. We found that there are many different classes from a variety of faculties that would benefit from using the Ocean Pond including biology, environmental science, and geography. In order to make the Ocean Pond a more appealing area for classes we recommend adding benches and pathways. There is already space around the edges of the pond where benches for about 20 people would fit comfortably. We also recommend adding more signage to attract attention to the pond. Going forward, the Ocean Pond should be monitored regularly for invasive species. There are many tree, bush, and other plant species that we were unable to identify and may need to be removed as well. We also recommend that a maintenance plan is developed to ensure that there is yearly upkeep of the Ocean Pond in order to preserve the area as a native Nova Scotian Habitat, as was originally intended.