Preparing Sites for Pollinator Plantings:
The decline in native pollinators and the collapse of many honey bee colonies has caused concern for many farmers and naturalists. An important step in creating herbaceous pollinator habitat is preparing the site. Often other vegetation will out compete the wildflower seeds if the site is not prepared properly. At Goss Farm, herbicides were used twice in the summer of 2015 to eradicate weeds and other plants from the area that would soon be seeded with pollinator specific wildflowers. A prescribed burn was also implemented in October 2015 at Goss Farm to further prepare the seedbed. Prescribed burns can be difficult to coordinate and obtain permits for, but luckily the Rye Fire Department was able to assist on this town owned property. This is an extremely effective method of removing weed pressure and preparing the seed bed for pollinator-friendly plants.
In 2012 the RCCD and the Rye Conservation Commission completed the second year of work restoring the Goss Farm in Rye. In 2008 the 10 acre parcel was under consideration for development into a five lot subdivision and in 2009 the historic 1797 farmhouse on the property burned. In 2010 the RCCD assisted the Town of Rye in procuring a Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that helped to fund a conservation easement on the property. One of the goals of preserving the farm was to return it to agriculture, which had not occurred on the land for approximately 40 years.
The RCCD, holder of the conservation easement and project manager for the restoration, secured grant funds to restore soil fertility, to facilitate invasive species management, to establish a 100 foot buffer of native vegetation along the adjacent Awcomin Salt Marsh, and to provide related educational outreach.
Partners & Funders include the Town of Rye, Natural Resources Conservation Service, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, Integrated Pest Management Grant, UNH Cooperative Extension, and many community volunteers. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership. This project is also supported by funds from the sale of the Conservation License Plate (Moose Plate) through the NH State Conservation Committee Grant Program.