White ibis

White ibis
Ibis

Monday, January 21, 2013

Replanting the Prairie

Last Thursday, I finally got to volunteer at Houston Audubon Club's Workday at Horseshoe Marsh. Horseshoe Marsh  was near the epicenter of Ike and was severely damaged..  Audubon volunteers are starting plants and then transplanting them in a ten acre field of wet coastal prairie, that is part of the 650 acre Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary, owned by Audubon, to make better bird habitat. 

Flo, the volunteer manager, discussing the planting

My favorite garden task is to grow baby plants so I was in heaven transplanting young grasses and forbs into gallon pots. Other volunteers planted plants in  gallon pots that had been grown a few months or more and had made lots of roots.  I think another guy and I potted up about 150 plants, while the planting crew planted 440 gallon pots.  This included digging the holes.


The team that bumped up seedlings

One of the planting teams

Planting the gallon plants - a variety of grasses and forbs


Watering  the new plants in

My partner and I finished potting up in time to help water in the new plants and gather up the empty gallon pots and return them to the pot pile.

Then we drove a couple of miles down the road to the little park by the ferry and had a sandwich lunch.  We only worked a couple of hours but got a lot of plants in the ground.


Setting up the sandwich lunch

Audubon is also getting trees donated to give to the citizens of Port Bolivar.  Almost all the trees were destroyed by Ike. It always feels good to help restore habitat and dream of seeing the animals come back. This area will support marsh birds,  while the trees will be the first stop for passerines migrating across the Gulf of Mexico.