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Plantings Aim to ‘Rewild’ Woods

Volunteers dig a planting hole at Sanford Community Forest. Photo credit: Ruth Gutman

By Lee Burnett, Submissions editor

Some birch trees, beach plum trees and blueberry bushes were planted at Sanford Community Forest this week, a first step towards increasing ecological diversity and the aesthetics of the woods as they recover from heavy logging done by a prior owner.

Three Rivers Land Trust volunteers and Great Bay Services clients worked together on the plantings, which were planned and organized by Shawn Jalbert, a Three Rivers Board member and native plant expert. He described the plantings as a “rewilding” effort.

“We’re helping get some plants started that should be here … to jumpstart the seed bank in a forest that’s recovering from a harvest operation,” Jalbert said.

The species planted typically provide multiple benefits: a food source for insects and wildlife, pollen for bees and other pollinators, aesthetic appeal and tasty treats for foragers, he explained. “It’s wildlife support – ecological support with a few bennies for humans.” Future plantings are planned, he said.

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