The Wilelinor restoration site received some holiday cheer over the weekend! On a beautiful December morning, a team of South River Federation volunteers came together to do maintenance work on the site. Volunteers began the day by spreading 15 bales of peat moss under the Atlantic white cedars (Chamaecyparis thyoides) lining the stream and wetland pool. The peat moss served as a soil amendment to adjust the pH value. We hope that by spreading peat moss around the cedars, there will be an increase in germination and seedlings.

Next, volunteers armed with limb saws and loppers, tackled and removed sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and sycamore (Plantanus occidentalis) trees. Why would we want to remove these trees? Many had begun to grow close to the cedars, blocking out the full sunlight that the cedars need to grow. The shade makes it especially difficult for new seedlings to survive.

Atlantic white cedars were specially chosen for this restoration site because of their efficiency and effectiveness at processing pollution and removing nutrients. Cedars also tend to do well in acidic wetland environments and provide important habitat for wildlife. For example, in North Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that over 39 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians and over 46 species of birds were reported to use Atlantic white cedar wetlands.

While most of the group was hard at work tackling the sweetgum trees, others removed invasive vines and cleared out a large section of invasive green bamboo. Thank you to all of our volunteers and South River Watershed Stewards for making this day a success! We could not have done it without your hard work. Thank you Edgewater Starbucks for donating coffee to keep us warm and motivated!

What and Where is Wilelinor?

This beautiful site located right off of Route 2 across from Admiral Cochrane Drive. This area is one of the headwaters for the southern branch of Church Creek, a tributary to the South River. Located near large areas of impervious surfaces, this restoration site is able to properly convey stormwater going into Church Creek. This project has enhanced water quality, aquatic habitat, and ecological functions. Routine maintenance, such as this volunteer event on Saturday, is important to keep this site functioning properly.