Interim crews work through winter
While most field crew terms end in December, a small cadre of corps members stays on for an interim term, right through the coldest part of the winter. This month, a 6- to 8-member crew is working on four projects in Iowa. Most of the projects involve removing invasive species such as honeysuckle and autumn olive. Despite working some days in below zero temps, the crew enjoys serving with seasoned corps members during a low-key time of year. “We are consuming a lot more coffee,” said Derrick Barnes, a first-year member who will serve as a crew leader in 2016. He noted that the winter conditions can make invasives easier to cut but can also create a challenge in identifying species that have shed their leaves. Other Iowa crew members include Hayley Noneman, Kyle Mooney, Rich Wehmeyer, Lance Rudy and Matt Roberts; two additional members will join the crew next week and crew leader duties will rotate. Project partners are Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Polk County Conservation Board, The Conservation Foundation and Iowa DNR.