Contributions by the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Club
From the late 1990s, the club put up duck boxes and picked up garbage at Sarita. Each year starting in 2005 or before, students picked up refuse that floats into Sarita annually from the Minnesota Fair. In 2009, at least 10 medium-sized plastic garbage bags full of garbage along with two auto tires were collected and removed from the area.
The club held a meeting to plan for the introduction of more species of native trees. It included several faculty, Les Pots (Head Groundskeeper), several students and PAJ.
With a Beautiful U grant, the club bought and planted 50 saplings including maples, basswood, cherries and oaks in a project led by Tim Barberg. The trees were then watered and protected from woodchucks during the summer.
Fifty more trees were bought, planted and cared for over the summer. Throughout the following fall, buckthorn and other invasive species were removed. Beatles were collected locally and released at Sarita to control purple loosestrife. These activities were led by Patrick Kelly.
Grants from the Institute on the Environment and Beautiful U provided for the purchase of herbaceous species. Led by Andres Morantes, some 100 plants were installed inside chickenwire enclosures.
The group obtained a small grant from Coca-Cola, which allowed them to purchase and plant some 80 species of shoreline, herbaceous plants.
The group also developed a more structured approach to undertaking projects at Sarita, which included creating a Sarita Coordinator position and appointing Andrew Carlson.
The club increased efforts to obtain recognition of its initiatives by University administrators, which would enhance the teaching and research potential for the wetland. These efforts included a meeting with Vice President Cathy O’Brien in July and requesting the establishment of a faculty advisory committee, recently designed by a preliminary planning committee.