Going Wild in Our Landscape: Season 2

Last November I reported on the beginning stages of a big “Landscaping Makeover” at the NCF office at 118 Cliff Road. This long-awaited renovation allowed us to incorporate areas with more formal plantings hosting a variety of native shrubs and grasses around the entrance to our office, designed by NCF board member, Dave Champoux. Nursery…

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Nantucket Grasses in the Limelight

With wildflowers distracting the eye with bursts of bright color, it’s often easy to overlook some of the island’s most common plants, grasses, many of which are blooming right now. While most grass species lack brilliant colors and have small flowers, they are an important part of the ecosystem, feeding many familiar herbivores, from voles…

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What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

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Restoring Illegally Created Trails on Foundation Properties

Working for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department, we spend a large portion of our time maintaining and restoring Foundation properties as favorable habitats for rare plants and animals through prescribed fire, sheep grazing and mowing to name a few techniques. Nantucket is home to very unique sandplain grassland habitats and supports the highest percentage…

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Botanizing on Nantucket

By: Katherine Culatta, Seasonal Botany/Ecology Field Assistant One of the most exciting things that can happen to a botanist is to stumble across an unfamiliar plant and puzzle over its identity, working though guide books, dichotomous keys, and consultations with fellow plant enthusiasts.  When I’m solving the identity of mystery plants, I feel like a…

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A Field Season on Nantucket

by Andee Brendalen, Seasonal Botany Field Assistant This summer I served as a botany/ecology field assistant for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. My duties included conducting plant surveys, vegetation community surveys, tracking spotted turtles, monitoring horseshoe crab populations during spawning, and completing forest composition surveys in the Squam area. I really enjoyed all of these activities…

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Science and Stewardship at the Cranfest this Saturday

When you visit this year’s Cranfest at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Milestone Bog this Saturday, October 11th, please stop in at the Science & Stewardship table. We love to talk about what we do, and share our explorations of the Nantucket natural world! To share a taste of the scientific research and natural beauty we…

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Blueberry Season

  By Sara Mack, NCF Science & Stewardship Volunteer Last week, my coworker Andee and I set out to Almanack Pond to check for two rare plant species. As a volunteer with the Science and Stewardship department this summer, one of my jobs has been surveying Nantucket Conservation Foundation properties for rare species and recording…

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Fires of Spring

Green is the color that most of us associate with spring and early summer- but in some of the island’s conservation areas, black is the first color of the season. Spring and fall are when many open space managers in the northeast, including the Foundation, conduct an important ecological management practice called prescribed burning. As…

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2013: A Good Year for Science at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation!

Happy New Year everyone! New Years is a good time to take a moment to reflect on the year that has just passed and make plans for the future. During these winter months in between field seasons, our year-round Science and Stewardship Department staff get together for several group meetings. We spend valuable time reflecting…

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