12/10/07 — Waynesborough seeking grant to become part of birding trail

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Waynesborough seeking grant to become part of birding trail

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 10, 2007 1:48 PM

Old Waynesborough officials sent off the paperwork Thursday to accept a grant to help develop ways to attract wild birds to the grounds of the historical village.

The federal grant comes from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission with a 25 percent local match, which can be paid as in-kind services. As the Old Waynesborough Commission incurs expenses, the program will reimburse up to $10,00 over the 10 years that the village is part of the Forest Landbird Legacy Program, a voluntary wildlife conservation effort for owners of private woodlands.

The Old Waynesborough Commission owns 68 acres of forest that lies behind the historical village with several hiking trails throughout the forest. Some of the trails run along side the Neuse and Little rivers.

Richard Slozak of the Old Waynesborough Commission said the initial phase of the land management plan will cost around $5,300 to reduce the vines that are choking the forest floor.

"The program is geared toward bottom land hardwood forest to maintain the forest in a manner that will attract birds, especially migratory birds," Slozak said.

He said he expects the land management program to enable Waynesborough to become a part of the East Carolina Birding Trail, which started in the east and is working its way toward the western part of the state for birdwatchers.

"In the first two years, we have to get rid of 50 percent of the green briars, poison ivy and trumpet creeper. They kill a lot of undergrowth, like new trees," he said.

The next thing the Old Waynesborough Commission has to do in the management plan is to get rid of the Japanese Stiltgrass, an invasive annual grass that threatens native plants and habitats.

And the third part of the plan involves selecting up to two trees in each acre of the forest and cutting notches around the trunk. These trees can be red maples, sweet gums or any other type of tree that is of poor quality.

In the process of dying, the tree becomes a home to insects, which lure birds to come and eat. The birds then make themselves at home and build nests in the cavities that form as the tree dies.

At the end of the two years, the Wildlife Commission's biologist will determine any further remedial action that needs to be taken.

The Old Waynesborough Commission will then apply for some more money.