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Invasive plants - terrestrial
Spotted knapweed: This allelopathic* plant can be found throughout much of the Sylvania Recreational Area. It grows along the east-west road between Crooked and Clark Lake, the road to the Clark Lake boat landing, and on the Clark Lake North Beach. The Recreational Area is the most likely source of the patch of spotted knapweed found on Loon Lake. In 2010, the Friends of Sylvania organized two volunteer work days to remove spotted knapweed on Loon Lake and Clark Lake North Beach. Click here for more information and pictures.
*a plant that releases chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of other species
Invasive plants - aquatic
Eurasian water-milfoil: An infestation of this aquatic plant in Crooked Lake (north bay) was first discovered in 2002. Since then, the ONF has surveyed the bay every year. 2010 was the first year Friends of Sylvania volunteers participated. Click here for pictures taken during the 2010 survey.
Trail and portage clearing
Most of the trail and portage clearing of fallen trees in Sylvania is being done by volunteers. The tools they use are, however, very simple since no mechanized equipment is permitted in the Wilderness. Several times a year, volunteers attack huge tree trunks using nothing but a two-man saw, a bow saw, and an ax. For a log and pictures of recent trail and portage clearing activities click here.
Talks and informational hikes: In 2010, the Friends of Sylvania again invited Dr. Lee Frelich, Director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Hardwood Ecology, to give a talk at the ONF Visitor Center and to lead a hike through the forest the following morning. Both events were co-sponsored with the ONF. This year's talk and hike focused on the effect of the European earthworm invasion in northern hardwood forests. Click here for more information and pictures.
We also co-sponsored a hike through a hardwood-hemlock habitat with the North Woods Native Plant Society in May.
Native plants garden: For many years, only one type of flower grew in the L-shaped flower box next to the day-use building: Dendalion. This year, with support from the ONF, we began to establish a native plants garden. For more information and pictures, please click here.
Conservation easement: The Friends of Sylvania assisted Northwood Alliance in a fundraiser to support a conservation easement adjacent to the southern border of the Sylvania Wilderness. This easement returned nearly 60 acres, a proposed 21-lot subdivision, back to nature. Go to the Northwood Alliance website for more information.