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    Autumn Preserve

    Conservation at Swaner Preserve

    The boundaries of the Swaner Preserve are easily noted on any map, but nature is oblivious to such human-imposed boundaries. Streams flow and winds blow across our borders day and night.  All who live upstream and upwind of Swaner unknowingly affect those who forage, nest, hunt and den on the Preserve. Like many natural areas, Swaner Preserve is part of a larger ecosystem that is dominated by human development.

    The Preserve is surrounded by houses and roads, bisected by a major interstate and crisscrossed by trails and a maze of land easements. Its management means understanding the needs of both the ecosystem and the people who live in and around it. Our conservation efforts enhance both environmental health and human well-being.  First, we seek to understand our precious resources by conducting professional field surveys and assessing the land, wildlife and waters.

    Next, we work to restore the Preserve to its most natural state. Then we enhance our streams and wildlife habitat for the benefit of the community. Finally, we partner with other organizations to ensure that our conservation efforts are comprehensive and meaningful on a larger scale.

    Invasive Weed Management

    People pulling the invasive Dyer's woad

    The management of invasive weeds is the most time consuming and expensive restoration project Swaner tackles each year.  Swaner pursues multiple grants and funding sources specifically for this project to improve habitat and ecosystem functions by removing these plants and reseeding with native species.


    Interns, staff, and volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year physically removing multiple species across the Preserve. Swaner participates in the ongoing research of biocontrols on invasive plants. Biocontrols are living agents like insects or fungus, that target the invasive plant and can help control populations.


    Want to get involved and lend a hand? Check out our upcoming volunteer projects!

    Volunteer Project Catalog

    What is an invasive weed?

    Invasive, noxious, weeds are not native to North America that can pose serious environmental threats. These plants did not evolve in our ecosystems, and therefore do not have native predators or diseases to keep their populations in check. They can spread like wildfire, crowding out native biodiversity, increasing soil erosion, reducing water quality, and more.


    Here is one of our favorite guidebooks. Want a paper version? Stop by the EcoCenter during open hours to get one for free or learn more.