Faculty and students from the Monadnock Ecological Research and Education (MERE) Project at Antioch University New England (AUNE) will hike Mount Monadnock on Friday, May 13, to post signs cautioning the public to avoid stepping on fragile alpine plants.
They’ll go to the Virginia Falls area on the heavily traveled White Dot Trail to put up the signs. “The White Dot Trail gets tens of thousands of hikers annually, so the area is really impacted due to trampling,” said Professor Peter Palmiotto, core faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies and director of MERE. “It’s significant because there hasn’t been any education on the fragility of alpine plant species on Monadnock. The state is limited by resources. That’s why MERE is so valuableâ€“we can provide that information and assist in conserving the plant species on the mountain.”
MERE plans to start revegetation experiments on the mountain this summer. Summit Stewards will also be on the mountain for the third summer in a row, talking to hikers about the fragility of alpine plant species and how to protect them.
MERE was initiated in 2007 by Professor Palmiotto and graduate students in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies.