The Piney Wood Lakes Chapter of the Master Naturalist worked with the City of Onalaska and former mayor Roy Newport to add natural value of the Caney Creek Park. This 10 acre plot bordered by Caney Creek and the Onalaska Loop road was logged by its owner and then donated to the city. The City added play equipment, a display of old farm equipment, and a nature trail. Nature added numerous native plants and trees and a few invasive and unwanted species.
The Master Naturalists reduced or eliminated the invasive plants, identified the native plants, mapped the plants, and prepared descriptions of notable plants and trees for educational materials and signage along the nature trail. We explored the possibility of creating a natural meadow and wildflower demonstration area in the park.
This project was led by Ron Diderich and is the focus project of a group of trainees.
On Sunday, November 16, 2014 we took the next step in our project. Our goal was to identify and map the trees along the nature trail that meanders around the park. This step will allow us to develop information plaques that will be produced by the city and one of their park volunteers.
entification was led by Jeff Waits and his daughter. Jeff is a District Forester for Regeneration with Resource Management Services, an international Timber Investment Management Organization with 210,000 acres under management in Polk, Tyler, and Trinity counties.
We identified and mapped representative trees of 19 different varieties along the path. We marked them with numbered red ribbons, and also sketched their locations on paper. Those that attended learned a lot about how to identify trees, especially those that have multiple leaf forms.