Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Rutgers Environmental Stewards]

Teaneck Creek Conservancy Internship

Host Agency Info:Teaneck Creek Conservancy
20 East Puffin Way
Teaneck, New Jersey 07666-4111
Phone: 201-836-2403

Supervisor Name: Perry Rosenstein
Nature of Host Agency: Non-profit
Project Description:Teaneck Creek Conservancy is a 46-acre park located in Teaneck, New Jersey in Bergen County’s Overpeck Park. This property is owned by Bergen County and operated by TCC on a long term lease for $1/annually. The urban wetlands at the TCC are part of the original 21,000 acre New Jersey Meadowlands. Since February of 2004, the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Bergen County and Rutgers University have teamed up in their efforts to implement the restoration of the park. There are three trails totaling 1.9 miles. The park also includes an outdoor classroom facility, a meditation labyrinth and many public eco-art installations throughout the park. The area is a former dumpsite with disturbances allowing invasive species to gain control.

The current project, patterned after the Weed Busters Program, is to maintain a program whose goal is to locate and manage the infestations of invasive, exotic plants and plant and nurture appropriate native species with the assistance of 25 volunteers. Intern responsibilities would include: the monitoring and assessment of management actions in terms of their effectiveness in moving conditions toward these goals and objectives; create calendar for weed removal; supervise and organize weed removal and planting; coordinate volunteer planting days; develop herbicide program in conjunction with Bergen County Parks; renewal of USFWS contract for knotweed control; handle reporting and upgrade management plan accordingly.

Nature of anticipated impact. Social and Environmental

Evaluation Plan:Training for volunteers is scheduled for February 2008. Intern will meet with groups to establish adopted areas and provide support as well as record volunteer hours and progress.

Learning Objectives:Along with TCC Master Gardener, intern will learn to recognize and control invasive plant species. A weed control program is best viewed as part of an overall restoration program. Focus will be placed on what is needed in place of invasive weeds rather than simple elimination. When selecting control methods, the ultimate purpose of the work is to preserve native species, communities and functioning ecosystems. Strong leadership qualities are required to supervise volunteers and manage project.