In the mid-20th century, an extensive area in the vicinity of Pine Hill was maintained as grasslands by periodic mowing. The cessation of mowing in the late 1900’s resulted in a transition to dense shrub/thicket. Efforts are underway to restore a component of this area to grassland communities.
On many Reserve marshes, native vegetation has been displaced in some areas by non-native common reed (Phragmites australis). Dense growth, shading, and relatively rapid increase in elevation as detritus accumulates and breaks down leads to persistent growth and expansion. A three-year cycle of herbicide application and cutting provides an opportunity for native marsh vegetation to recover.
In instances where a shift in existing vegetation community is desired to promote the establishment of native plant and wildlife assemblages, extensive restoration efforts over a period of years are generally required.
Habitat restoration on Reserve properties was made possible with funding support from two primary sources: a USDA NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) grant and awards from the RI Coastal and Estuary Habitat Restoration Fund which is administered through the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (RI CRMC).