Practice

Mount Holyoke College campus restoration site

Project Stream is at the heart of the REP. Prior to 2012, Project Stream was an unnamed (and largely unknown) waterway feeding into the north end of the MHC lakes system. Kate Ballantine's Restoration Ecology class began studying the stream and conducting research. They soon found that, like much of the globe, the MHC water system has problems with nutrient pollution, and Project Stream was not functioning to its full potential to remove those nutrients and filter the water. REP students took on the task of planning for and implementing a full site restoration. Through their efforts, that plan became a real-life restoration project. Learn more about the ongoing research and restoration efforts by visiting the Project Stream page.





Restoration Master Plan

A plan to improve the health and beauty of the MHC campus

One objective of the MHC REP is to engage students in the creation of a campus Restoration Master Plan to improve the health and beauty of our natural systems. Creation of the master plan is an iterative process taking place over the course of years, and is a novel way of approaching restoration that is adaptive, research-driven, and systems-based. The MHC Campus Restoration Master Plan may serve as a focal point around which people from across disciplines at the College and surrounding community can come together to share their expertise and benefit from the education, beauty, and community it fosters. The concept of a "Restoration Master Plan" is unique, and we are excited to spearhead this approach in hopes it will be considered by other organizations and institutions.




MHC students contribute to restoration practice through on and off-campus internships

REP supports student internships both at MHC and off campus. Through these internships, our students have had the chance to contribute to restoration efforts around the country. So far, students have done research in western Washington, central New York, and eastern Massachusetts. We are also pursuing international internships via connections in Finland, Costa Rica, and elsewhere. Our students have won prizes for their presentations at conferences, and a number of students have reported that their new supervisors told them that their experiences in our program convinced them to offer them a position. Several of the organizations we connect students with have created positions specifically for students out of this program!




Water Chestnut Removal

Keeping invasives out of the Connecticut River watershed

REP has teamed up with our friends from Fish and Wildlife to help control invasive water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. Currently, this invasive species is present in at least 15 sites in the Connecticut River watershed, but annual maintenance and monitoring help to keep it under control and prevent it from spreading. REP is responsible for the MHC lakes site; each summer, we paddle onto Upper and Lower Lakes to hand-pull the water chestnut.