University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

The University of Arkansas Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (CSES) Club adopted a local wetland in the spring of 2002 through the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department. This project has allowed students to interact with local community and governmental organizations as well as other academic departments within the university. Students have gained valuable laboratory and field experience through characterizing hydric soils, identifying bird and plant species, and analyzing water quality, soil nutrients, and microbial biomass. Under the main goal of restoring the wetland, the club has outlined both short and long-term objectives including soil and water assessments; removal of two invasive species—Lonicera japonica and Festuca arundinacea; revegetation of native species to provide wildlife habitat and forage; establishment of trails and educational signs; and community outreach. To facilitate removal of the invasive species, the club is experimenting with manual removal, implementing physical barriers to prevent plant photosynthesis, and working with city officials to obtain permission for selective use of herbicides. The adoption of the wetland has provided a catalyst for the CSES Club to organize, rebuild itself, and achieve its goals.

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