The waters have finally receded at our Nyberg Wetland Preserve to allow Megan Garvey, TWC Urban Land Steward and volunteers to start working on our Western Pond turtle habitat enhancement project. Western Pond turtles need open space, near the water, to warm their bodies and then lay their eggs. In urban areas, it is especially important to establish open areas for turtles to nest so that they don’t wander into parking lot’s or roads, thinking they will be suitable nesting areas. We know that Western Pond Turtles have been seen within the Nyberg Creek watershed, the preserves elevation allowed for creating the nesting area above the high water line which will protect the eggs for submersion during the fall rains.
Armed with buckets, shovels and rakes two groups of volunteers moved 7 yards of sand and gravel down to the wetland. Several inches of sand and gravel was raked into 1 parking space sized rectangle. New basking logs were placed in the areas of water and along the edge of the wetland.
Now we will watch to make sure vegetation does not grow too tall in and around the sand and gravel nesting habitat and see if Western Pond Turtles come and use the site.