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2003 Cofrin Arboretum Grants

Kingfisher Farm and Point Creek Natural Area Plant Survey

K. Groves and N. Skiba.

Cofrin Grant recipients Kathy Groves and Nicole Skiba collecting plants at the Point Creek Conservancy Area adjacent to Kingfisher Farm.

 

UW Green Bay students Nicole Skiba and Kathy Groves received a Cofrin Arboretum Research Grant last summer to survey the plants at Point Creek Natural Area in Manitowoc County. The natural area includes 39 acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline between Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Point Creek is the largest watershed in southeastern Manitowoc County and the natural area includes its estuary. Point Creek is adjacent to Kingfisher Farm and provides a buffer between Kingfisher and the surrounding farmland. It is also and important buffer between the cultivated areas and the riparian woodland and rare beach communities also on site. The natural area also includes a 60 foot bluff community and a conifer plantation (known to us as the Dark Forest). They collected and identified over 160 vascular plants in these communities and created vouchers for the UWGB Herbarium. The greatest diversity was discovered in the terraced riparian woodland which included many spring ephemerals. Several uncommon plants were found on the beach including Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula) which is on the Wisconsin state list of plants of special concern. Groves and Skiba are using their species list for the area to help the staff of the biodiversity center to develop management suggestions for natural area. The county intends to use the natural area for research, environmental education, and "gentle recreation" (wildlife watching, hiking, etc.). Two of the greatest challenges will be to replace the conifer plantation with native species similar to those in the woods at Kingfisher Farm and to control the many invasive species on the property.

On September 29th from 1 to 3 Nicole and Kathy along with five other students who also worked on Cofrin Arboretum Grants this year will present their findings at the Cofrin Student Research Symposium in the Phoenix Rooms at the UWGB Union . Thanks to a generous endowment from the family of Dr. David Cofrin and the late John Cofrin, annual awards are available for student research on the Cofrin Arboretum and UW-Green Bay natural areas. Students can apply online for this year's competition.

Text by Kathy Groves

 

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Last updated on April 15, 2014