Restoration of the Melvin Preserve

Student: Kait Aromy ’20
Research Mentor: Nathan Rowley (OWU Department of Geology-Geography)

The Melvin Preserve is a small parcel of land, dominated by the family of alumna Ruth Melvin. Over its untouched years, the preserve has become overrun by invasive Lonicera maackaii (Amur Honeysuckle). A small tributary of the Delaware Run also transects the preserve, collecting runoff from the surrounding impermeable surfaces. The health of the preserve is assessed through a combination of mapping, remote sensing, and direct monitoring through soil sampling and water quality testing. The future of the Melvin Preserve is to use subsets as testing grounds for honeysuckle management methods (glyphosate application and physical removal), and to find an appropriate form of runoff mitigation for the stream.

A healthy ecosystem is all about balance; but invasive honeysuckle has made that a distant memory for the Melvin Preserve. This small preserve is also home to a stream of the Delaware Run, constantly being polluted by runoff from the nearby roads and parking lots. To restore balance to the preserve, we fly drones overhead to better visualize and track the progress; as well as consistently test the soil and water quality. The plan is to use different sections of the Melvin preserve to test which is the best way to get rid of honeysuckle (either with chemical herbicide, or uprooting them entirely), as well as helping the stream recover.