Wanted: Volunteers to study trees in Falcon Heights, Como Park area

A group of University of Minnesota ecology professors are looking for volunteers to monitor the phenology (budburst, leafing, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall) of select boulevard trees in Falcon Heights and the Como Park neighborhood to learn more about when the trees drop their nutrient-rich biomass (flower parts, seeds and leaves). The project is aimed at timing street sweeping to prevent the debris from washing into local lakes through the stormwater drainage systems.

The ecologists spearheading the project—Dr. Sarah Hobbie, Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, Dr. Jacques C. Finlay, Chris Buyarski and Daniel Nidzgorski—are all residents of either Falcon Heights or Como Park.

Janna Caywood, lead organizer of the Como Lake Neighbor Network (CLNN), says the project will help CLNN refine its strategies to advance Como Lake’s restoration. Daniel Nidzgorski will work with CLNN this year to help target the “hot spots” during the Como Curb Cleanup in October, Caywood said.

Volunteers will identify one to 10 trees in front of their homes, on their streets or on walks they take regularly through the neighborhood to monitor through the year.

To find out more about the project, contact Chris Buyarski at buyar002@umn.edu, 612-624-3485 or 612-624-7734.

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