The southwestern section of the Hilltop contains open wetland areas, several of which are located along the Reservation’s western route (from Courter Lane to the main service road). Although currently infested with mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and invasive reed (Phragmites australis), these wetlands have high habitat potential for both migratory and year-round wildlife residents.
Two of these open areas were used by Essex County in the 1980’s as part of their leaf composting facility. Unfortunately trash and debris were also incorporated into the wind rows during that time, and once abandoned these sites were overrun by invasive plants. But with focused clean-up and invasives control efforts these Hilltop wetlands can be restored to an ecologically healthy and aesthetically pleasing condition. See sample photos of 3 of these areas to the right.
Progress To Date —
2015-2017: Scoped project with Fish & Wildlife Service; obtained Essex County commitment to restore wetlands (see agreement below); removed concrete, trash and other debris
- 2018: Engaged contractor to begin phragmites and mugwort control; began eradication of large gray willow, common privet and multiflora rose
Next Steps —
- 2019: Complete phragmites, mugwort and woody invasives control; clear sites of remaining debris, fallen trees and
- 2019 / 2020: Work with FWS to seed native wetland grasses and wildflowers; plant mix of native wetland shrubs along site edges abutting private land