Japanese Knotweed Conservation Project

Japanese Knotweed. An invasive plant species that bullies the native plants that grow around it. I was presented the opportunity to cut this invasive species at Minute Man National Park, and work with biotechs from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and other volunteers. Japanese Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) has thick stems that have a resemblance of bamboo stems at the base of the plant. My job was to cut between the first and second node of the plant, and the person treating the open cut with herbicide was working right along with me. This was an amazing experience because this was my first time doing hands-on conservation work. This adventure involved high levels of heat, dense humidity, bugs of all kinds, and poison ivy mocking us from afar. This was definitely an eye-opener experience about conservation work. Aside from the heavy conditions we worked with, I found myself having fun in assisting with this conservation project with two fellow interns from LHIP by my side. Not only was I certain that I picked the correct career path to graduate from, but it was a rewarding feeling being able to do something physically that involves helping and conserving the natural habitat of this area at the park. I would like to highlight Bill Fuchs for this amazing opportunity. Bill is the biologist I have met while working at the other national park known as Saugus Ironworks National Historical Site. Bill is an interesting individual that focuses primarily in conservation and natural resource management. He not only works for Saugus Ironworks, he also dedicates his time to work with Boston National Parks and Boston Harbor Islands. I was given the pleasure to sit down with him and talk about what he focuses on and what his passions are about environmental science. I would like to acknowledge and thank Bill for giving me the time to sit down and talk to him, as well as for inviting me to the Minute Man invasive species management project. I am looking forward to work with Bill in other projects before my internship is over.

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