Painted skimmer. Photo courtesy of Allen Barlow

Painted skimmer. Photo courtesy of Allen Barlow.

Summary of Completed Projects

  • Andover Township Environmental Commission, Sussex County, NJ
    The Environmental Commission of Andover Township hired Ecological Solutions to create a spatial database of the town's easements. The project involved GIS functions that allow easy identification of parcels containing easements. Large format maps were produced to clearly display easements in the context of critical water resources and areas of important biodiversity.
  • Back to Nature, Oldwick, NJ
    Ecological Solutions assisted Back to Nature by developing a baseline inventory for conservation easements, which involved completing GIS maps and review of conservation values.
  • Bedminster Township, Bedminster, NJ
    Ecological Solutions provided a rapid evaluation of deer impacts on municipal lands. Mike provided information to members of the Environmental Commission, including a brief report with annotated photographs that facilitated understanding of deer impacts across the Township.
  • Cheesequake State Park, Matawan, NJ
    Ecological Solutions was hired to measure forest understory health at the Park to assess improvements associated with a newly implemented deer management program. Mike has provided continued informal consultations and attended a meeting of the Old Bridge Township Environmental Commission to discuss deer impacts.
  • Chester Township Environmental Commission, Morris County, NJ
    Ecological Solutions completed a rapid ecological assessment of Township parks to guide future stewardship activities. Findings and recommendations were provided in a formal report that can be shared with Township staff and residents. Chester Township is also implementing Ecological Solutions' forest health monitoring protocols to guide its deer management program.
  • Conservation Resources, Inc., Mendham, NJ
    Ecological Solutions has provided assistance toward CRI's planning activities at Duke Farms. Activities included research on grassland birds and other rare species in the context of public visitation. Along with CRI staff, Ecological Solutions is contributed toward a report investigating the potential role of land conservation and restoration toward greenhouse gas reduction in New Jersey.
  • Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ
    Duke Farms hired Ecological Solutions to prepare a comprehensive invasive plant management plan on their 2,800-acre property. The management of invasive species was prioritized based upon their most important conservation targets, infestation levels, and regional responsibility to eradicate emerging invasive species. Duke Farms is also implementing Ecological Solutions' forest health monitoring protocols to guide its deer management program. Mike created additional monitoring protocols and annually assists with field measurements to document ecological health improvements across the entire property.
  • Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Essex County, NJ
    Essex County hired Ecological Solutions to assist with its Deer Management Program. Initial work included scientific documentation of existing deer browse damage at the 2,000-acre South Mountain Reservation as part of their application for the Division of Fish & Wildlife's Community Based Deer Management Program. Ecological Solutions also performed its forest health monitoring protocols to track the effectiveness of the hunting program toward improving forest health. Essex County has continued its relationship with Ecological Solutions by contracting similar work at their Eagle Rock and Hilltop Reservations. In 2014, Ecological Solutions provided a detailed evaluation of vegetative recovery within deer exclosures at South Mountain Reservation.
  • Essex Fells Glen Garden Club, Essex Fells, NJ
    The Garden Club hired Ecological Solutions to provide a comprehensive Stewardship Plan for the 6 acre Essex Fells Glen. The plan included complete mapping of invasive species and treatment strategies that include prioritization, annual goals and control techniques. It also identified potential restoration areas and deer fencing requirements to increase native understory vegetation that can resist and reverse infestations of invasive plants.
  • Flat Rock Brook Nature Association, Englewood, NJ
    Ecological Solutions worked with FRB staff to establish baseline forest health measurements. Mike also provided consultations to the FRB board regarding deer management and deer exclosure options.
  • Fredon Township, Fredon, NJ
    Ecological Solutions was hired by Fredon Township to manage invasive species to improve bog turtle habitat. The work included the use of various methods to control invasive species including Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose. Applications were precise to avoid damage to native species required to support the turtles.
  • Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Pennington, NJ
    Ecological Solutions provides ongoing organizational support and completion of special projects for FoHVOS. Projects have involved creation of preserve stewardship plans, conservation easement monitoring, implementation of a deer management program, assistance with land acquisition projects, developing a relationship with the agricultural community, submission of a grant proposals for trails and invasive species management, outreach events, and GIS mapping of stream easements in Hopewell Township. In 2009, Ecological Solutions was involved with the creation of the Hopewell Township Deer Management Advisory Committee to understand impacts and implement solutions for deer overabundance in the Hopewell Valley. Mike led the development of the Hopewell Valley Community Stewardship Plan that emphasized the role of local land trusts in providing leadership in stewardship across the 40,000 acre Hopewell Valley. As part of the effort to carry stewardship to a broader audience, Mike initiated the Private Lands Stewardship Program which encourages and assists stewardship efforts of landowners across the Valley - currently there are over 90 landowners accounting for over 2,000 acres.
  • Friends of Lawrence Nature Center
    Ecological Solutions was hired to design and assist with the installation of a native plant garden at the Lawrence Nature Center. Mike created a planting plan using design software, selected and ordered species from native plant nurseries and worked with the Friends to install plants and provide maintenance recommendations.
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Bernardsville, NJ
    Ecological Solutions implemented its forest health monitoring protocols at the 6,800-acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The work includes monitoring deer browse intensity on planted tree seedlings and measuring existing density of woody plants. Results will be used to guide one of New Jersey's most effective deer management programs. Mike was re-hired by the Refuge to monitor forest health to gauge changes five years after the initial study.
  • Harding Land Trust, Harding, NJ
    Ecological Solutions has assisted the Harding Land Trust by developing baseline inventories for multiple conservation easements, which involved completion of GIS maps and review of conservation values.
  • Hilltop Conservancy, Verona, NJ
    Ecological Solutions prepared a report providing an ecological assessment and stewardship recommendations for the Hilltop Reservation. Mike worked closely with the Conservancy to understand multiple existing/potential restoration projects and invasive species management efforts, providing recommendations to guide future activities in the most effective and efficient manner.
  • The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, Boonton, NJ
    Ecological Solutions was hired to prepare an invasive species management plan at the South Branch Preserve. Field survey and GIS mapping were used to formulate a prioritized action plan, including cost estimates, to mitigate the impacts of invasive species. Mike also participated in discussions involving the overall site restoration necessitated by a failed attempt to build homes on the site. Mike was subsequently re-hired to create a similar plan for an additional nearby property.
  • Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC
    The Land Trust Alliance hired Ecological Solutions to co-teach a course titled 'Caring for Land Trust Properties'. The course was designed to present LTA's Standards and Practices related to Fee Land Stewardship, while providing practical examples of land management in New Jersey.
  • Lebanon Township Environmental and Open Space Commission, Hunterdon County, NJ
    Ecological Solutions prepared an EOSC-sponsored workshop on invasive species for residents of Lebanon Township. The workshop included discussion of impacts and mitigation of invasive species to protect ecosystem health on private properties.
  • Merrill Creek Reservoir, Washington, NJ
    Ecological Solutions worked with MCR staff and interns to measure multiple forest health metrics within and immediately adjacent to a recently installed deer exclosure where forestry activities were planned. The report included a Plant Stewardship Index survey, which documented ‘conservative species’ at the site.
  • Millburn Township, Essex County, NJ
    Millburn Township hired Ecological Solutions to prepare a comprehensive invasive plant management plan for Township-owned properties. The management of invasive species was prioritized based upon their most important conservation targets, infestation levels, and regional responsibility to eradicate emerging invasive species. Ecological Solutions also prepared an outreach brochure that was mailed to all Township residents. A comprehensive forest health baseline was determined for Old Short Hills Park to monitor the effectiveness of plan implementation.
  • Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
    Montclair University hired Ecological Solutions to co-teach a field biology course titled 'Flora of New Jersey'. The course involved weekly trips to some of New Jersey's best natural areas. Students were introduced to basic botany and immersed in conservation issues and stewardship concepts related to our flora.
  • Morris County Park Commission, Morristown, NJ
    Ecological Solutions prepared a successful grant through the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service (WHIP - Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program). The grant ($37,500) allowed the Park Commission to leverage existing staff resources to hire Ecological Solutions and seasonal interns to complete special projects including riparian restoration, grassland and American woodcock habitat management, and invasive species control. In addition, Ecological Solutions implemented its forest health monitoring protocols at Lewis Morris Park and Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.
  • Neglia Engineering, Lyndhurst, NJ
    Ecological Solutions teamed with Neglia Engineering to restore the river banks of the 'Middle School Reach' of the East Branch Rahway River in South Orange Village. He mapped vegetation, provided treatment recommendations and prepared bid documents to remove invasive species in preparation for the planting of native species.
  • New Jersey Audubon, Bernardsville, NJ
    NJA hired Ecological Solutions to provide support for its efforts to protect the Highlands. The work included a review of the draft Regional Master Plan, compiling comments from partners and drafting recommendations for the Highlands Council. NJA has utilized Ecological Solutions' forest health monitoring protocols to guide its deer management program. Mike also worked with NJA foresters to document forest health at the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area.
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Far Hills, NJ
    NJCF hired Ecological Solutions to create a stewardship plan for their 9,400-acre Franklin Parker Preserve in the "Heart of the Pine Barrens". The plan encompassed mapping of plant communities and fire history, surveys of stakeholders and the general public, creation of a recreational plan, and management recommendations for rare/unique species and communities, deer management, ecological fire management, and invasive species management. As part of an ongoing relationship, Ecological Solutions implemented its forest health monitoring protocols, designed trail-side interpretative signage and provided control of a variety of invasive species at NJCF's Apshawa Preserve. Ecological Solutions was also hired to create a comprehensive stewardship plan for the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve in Hunterdon County, which involved the mapping of invasive species and ecological communities, assessment of ecological health of meadows, shrublands and forests, and recommendations for stewardship and public recreational access. In 2014, Mike assisted in the collection of detailed vegetation surveys of the Great Limestone Valley to compare the health of forests with and without past agricultural land use history.
  • New Jersey Invasive Species Council, Trenton, NJ
    Ecological Solutions prepared the New Jersey Strategic Management Plan for Invasive Species. This work involved the creation of a comprehensive plan to prevent new invasions and mitigate damage caused by existing invasive species. This project involved the integration of scientific principles and policy to guide New Jersey's efforts.
  • New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, Hillsborough, NJ
    Through the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Mike initiated the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team (CJISST) in 2008. The Strike Team is New Jersey's first Cooperative Invasive Species Management partnership - its mission is to prevent the spread of emerging invasive species across the state of New Jersey through Early Detection & Raid Response. Mike continues to serve as the Strike Team's Science Director and provides technical support for target species selection and treatment, grant proposal preparation and outreach.
  • New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, Trenton, NJ
    Ecological Solutions led a team of various experts hired to prepare an inventory of ecological communities, plants, reptiles, amphibians, mussels, dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies at the Bear Creek Preserve. Inventory results and assessment of ecological health was used to create a comprehensive 10-year stewardship plan.
  • North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, Wanaque, NJ
    Ecological Solutions implemented its forest health monitoring protocols to determine the current health of forests that are critical to maintaining one of New Jersey's largest water supplies.
  • Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Southampton, NJ
    Ecological Solutions developed Best Management Practices for Pine Barrens Roadsides. Working closely with PPA's staff, this document intended to provide a scientific basis for improved roadside management that will protect and enhance otherwise uncommon early successional wildflower habitat in the Pine Barrens. The report included a regulatory review, comparative management regime cost estimates and recommendations regarding native Pine Barrens seed mixes.
  • Princeton Hydro, Ringoes, NJ
    Ecological Solutions provided support for the development of the Functional Ecosystem Valuation Model and Forest Conservation Guidance document for the New Jersey Highlands Council.
  • Rahway River Association, Rahway, NJ
    Ecological Solutions completed a comprehensive Stewardship Plan for Brightwood Park in the Town of Westfield. This 43-acre site has the potential to be a premier site to demonstrate a healthy forest community surrounded by urban development. The plan involved complete mapping of invasive species and recommendations for their treatment, wildflower meadow restoration and recommendations for deer exclosure fencing.
  • StewardGreen, Bridgewater, NJ
    Ecological Solutions teamed with StewardGreen to prepare a Land Stewardship Plan Template and two Stewardship Plans for the Tewksbury Land Trust. These comprehensive planning documents included baseline field measurements, assessments, and recommendations for both forest and grassland communities.
  • Southampton Township, NJ
    Ecological Solutions provided a review of the Township's Conservation Element for their Environmental Resource Inventory.
  • South Mountain Conservancy, South Orange, NJ
    Ecological Solutions assisted SMC with the creation of trailside nature signs. Mike regularly provides informal consulting services to assist with the stewardship of South Mountain.
  • Upper Raritan Watershed Association, Bedminster, NJ
    Ecological Solutions worked with URWA to submit grant proposals related to mitigating the impacts of invasive species through implementation of land management plans that emphasize cost-effective and efficient strategies. Proposals also involve developing significant outreach programs for governments and private landowners.
  • Williams, Houston, TX
    Ecological Solutions was hired to provide an ecological review gas pipeline expansion plans at the Princeton Ridge. Ecological Solutions work was guided by the practical constraints of pipeline construction and plan development involved communications with professionals of varied expertise. He also met with concerned residents impacted by the project and developed an understanding of their desire to protect and restore the Princeton Ridge. Recommendations were provided to assure the post-construction establishment of healthy native wildflower meadow habitat.