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Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Rutgers Environmental Stewards]

Harding Land Trust

Host Agency Info:
Harding Land Trust
P.O. Box 576, New Vernon, NJ  07976
Supervisor Name:  Tina Bologna, Executive Director
E-mail of supervisor:  tina@hardinglandtrust.org
Nature of Host Agency: Non-profit

Project Description:
The Harding Land Trust is undertaking several large scale restoration project on three properties over the course of the next year.  We are seeking a project intern to assist with project coordination, including the development of a restoration plan for our 15-acre Gatehouse property. 

A deer exclosure, that was installed on a portion of this property last fall, provides a unique opportunity to compare conditions within the exclosure to the heavily browsed forest on the remainder of tract.  The intern will utilize the Plant Stewardship Index (PSI)  to assess the health of the plant communities on the property and identify potential strategies to eradicate invasive species and optimize conditions for native plants.  A map will be developed to show current site conditions. The plan will also include the location of a new interpretive walking trail on the property that will highlight restoration activities and allow the public to a view variety of native habitats.

The intern is encouraged to seek out expertise and input from other staff, agencies and organizations in gathering data about the site and restoration measures.  A budget and timetable for restoration measures should be included.  Once completed, the intern will present the restoration plan to the land trust Board of Trustees. The Harding Land Trust has a working partnership with USFWS to undertake restoration of a number of properties.  Once a plan has been approved, funds can be allocated for implementation.

Nature of anticipated impact : Environmental

Evaluation Plan: 

Project will be evaluated upon the level of detail provided, interpretation of site conditions, identification of environmental problems, and development of economical solutions. 

Learning Objectives in plan :
Intern will

  • Gain understanding of native plant communities
  • Understand invasive species management
  • Acquire basic field survey and mapping skills
  • Develop valuable contacts with environmental and biological sciences professionals