AmeriCorps Volunteers Come to the Aid of Meeman Biological Field Station

November 11, 2016 - Team Delta Five, an eight-member team from AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), has been working in the 623-acre complex of forest and field habitat at the University of Memphis' Edward J. Meeman Biological Station (MBS) for the past two weeks. MBS is located adjacent to Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park in northwest Shelby County and has been the site of teaching, training and research for faculty and students in the Department of Biological Sciences since 1968.

During past ice storms, MBS suffered loss and damage to many valuable trees. The staff struggled to manage tons of woody debris, often only being able to push it to the forest-field edge to make roads passable. Over time, the forest-field edge habitat deteriorated and was infiltrated by invasive plant species, such as Chinese privet and Autumn olive. With the help of the Delta Five team, nearly a mile of the vital edge habitat has been restored by removal of downed trees, broken limbs and invasive species. Delta Five is hoping to restore an additional mile of forest-field edge to return it to a fully functional habitat during its deployment, which ends Nov. 18.

In addition to habitat restoration, Delta Five was instrumental in building nearly 350 bird boxes for research on resident and migratory non-game birds (flycatchers, wrens, black-capped chickadees, tufted titmouse and other familiar species). This long-term study will provide insight into the nesting, breeding and rearing of these birds and may help interpret behavior adaptations related to a changing climate.

Drawn from the successful models of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the U.S. military, AmeriCorps NCCC is a program for 18- to 24-year-olds built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens. The work of NCCC teams strengthen communities through direct, team-based service in partnership with non-profits, local municipalities, state and federal governments, state and national parks, Indian tribes and schools. The University of Memphis went through a peer-reviewed grant program, competing with 61 organizations from 14 other states, to secure the services of an AmeriCorps NCCC team.

Contact: Dr. Cheryl Goudie
901.678.2605 or 901.240.8890