The installation of the deer exclosure at Flat Rock Brook is our first step towards the regeneration of the forest. There are some areas of the forest that have become severely degraded and are not likely to regenerate naturally. A complete disappearance of standing trees, communities of native vegetation and useful wildlife habitat has occurred. We are targeting these areas as restoration projects. A team of botanists and specialists will assess and survey the two restoration areas and craft site-specific design plans characterized by select native plant species.
Woodland Restoration Project: Located inside the Summit Street entrance, is a 1.5 acre land parcel that has been badly damaged by deer grazing and is dominated by invasive plant species. The number of standing trees is exremely low. Invasive vines threaten those trees that do remain. It is a thorny, meadow-like patch of land with little biodiversity. Flat Rock will begin work to restore this area back into a thriving woodland habitat that is dominated by native vegetation and understory.
Pollinator Meadow Restoration Project: Flat Rock Brook has a .2 acre meadow that has been impaired over time. Deer browsing and the proliferation of invasive species has compromised its value to wildlife species and pollinating insects and birds. Meadows are a crucial component of a healthy forest, and ours is a high area of priority for management and maintenance on our preserve. We are planning restoration of our meadow into a lush, highly diverse habitat dominated by an array of native plant species that are a resource for pollinating wildlife year-round. Pollinating species are essential for the reproduction and distribution of plants. We are in the process of creating a restoration design and list of plant species for the meadow, which will be followed by planting, restoration and continued maintenance.