Tumgir
aisling-saoirse · 20 hours ago
Text
Tumblr media
Philadelphia - August 17th 2022
3 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 20 hours ago
Text
Tumblr media
Philadelphia Sunset
3 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 4 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Champion River Birch - Netula Nigra
3 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 4 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Rose Mallow - August 12th 2022
1 note · View note
aisling-saoirse · 4 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Champion Yellow Wood Tree - August 12th 2022
11 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 4 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Franklinia Alatamaha - A Plant Extinct from the wild due to habitat loss from cotton farming
2 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Desiccated Tulip Poplar Blacked Bark From Zinc Toxicity
2 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Virginia Pine - August 11th 2022
6 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Tripsacum dactyloides - Gama Grass
1 note · View note
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Indian Grass - Sorghastrum Nuntans
3 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Canada Wild Rye Grass
1 note · View note
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Big toothed Aspen - Populus grandidentata
1 note · View note
aisling-saoirse · 7 days ago
Text
A Lesson in Bio-Remediation
Tumblr media
The Lehigh Gap aka the Palmerton Zinc Pile superfund site is a lesson in the importance of continuous management in remediation of toxic lands. The Lehigh Gap was once referred to as a desolate moonscape due to its downwind position from a local Zinc Smelter. From 1889 - 1980 this smelter pumped heavy metals into the air that, due to prevailing winds, landed primarily on a Mountainside of the Kittatinny Range. Zinc, Cadmium, Lead, sulfuric acid rain turned this area into a hellscape so barren that all the vegetation died and all 3 feet of soils washed away; the trees couldn't even decompose from the heavy metal toxicity. Due to outdated technique the factory shut down and the EPA declared the entire region a superfund site in 1983. For the mountainside itself they wanted to incorporate 3 strategies of remediation: Prevent Erosion, Plant only native species to provide habitat for local fauna, and keep the metals under soil. Originally a firm following this strategy went in and terraced the hillside with roads, dumped sewage and seeds and left it to grow without management. Quickly the site was invaded by invasive species which no animals could use as habitat and quickly died back down again from acidity.
Tumblr media
Gap Circa 2002. The Lehigh Gap Nature Conservancy was formed. The nonprofit bought 700 acres with the intent to remediate the region. A local biology professor involved suggested incorporating lime to neutralize the heavy acidity from the acid rain (the grounds had a Ph 4.2). The area was divided into sections and locations were tested with different strategies for successful re-establishment of plant communities
Tumblr media
The primary methodology to reestablish plant life and contain the heavy metals was to use warm season perennial grasses which would not draw heavy metals up to the top soil and create a layer of humus around the toxic metals. They wanted to mirror the plantings of a similar rocky ecosystems, the serpentine barrens in Pennsylvania. To keep the metals contained the site must be kept in a prairie stage of habitat succession, secondary stages like early birch-aspen forests would draw heavy metals up through their leaves and recontaiminate the topsoil. To keep the prairie at a constant state they use indigenous Lenape strategies of controlled burns once used to maintain blueberry shrub food forests in the Kittatinny Range.
The result of constant management, occasional burns, public access, native only plantings, and removal of invasives? Success and reduced harm status.
Tumblr media Tumblr media
Here we see grasses and flowers provide habitat for hundreds of species, including endanged birds, as well as rare plants such as wild bleeding heart and sandwort
Tumblr media
How do we know this was successful and not just natural succession? Unfortunately certain private property owners had their lands containminated as well, some have elected to not allow EPA revitalization due to scape-goating and reactionary politics.
Tumblr media
In choosing to leave soils containminated (red barren slopes) the owners of this hill allow heavy metals to flow into the neighborhoods and water ways of the local town as well as eventually the Delaware River. Truly this is despicable behavior as this impacts the health of the entire community.
Tumblr media
On a positive note this project shows that even some of the worst sites have potential for remediation. Please consider visiting, donating, learning about, or enjoying the Lehigh Gap area as the national park commission is in the process of expanding a trail along the Lehigh River all the way to the Delaware River. Management of this site will continue hopefully until enough soil is established to support secondary stage succession trees (oak and hickory)
10 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 8 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Morris Arboretuem, PA - August 10th 2022
6 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 8 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Heiracium - Hawkweed
2 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 8 days ago
Text
Tumblr media
Vernonia noveboracensis - New York Ironweed
2 notes · View notes
aisling-saoirse · 8 days ago
Text
Tumblr media Tumblr media
Eutrochium purpureum - Purple Node Joe Pye
1 note · View note