Invasive plants, trail maintenance and tour volunteers

Friends of the Wichitas Vounteers 2019 - Randy Jones Photography
Friends of the Wichitas Vounteers 2019 - Randy Jones Photography

Invasive Plant Control
Controlling the invasive plant common mullein in the refuge is a big challenge. A big thank you goes to volunteer Richard Bell who has taken on this project and worked tirelessly to make a big dent in the mullein population. At least 15 volunteers have helped Richard and 24,969 plants had been removed by the end of June . The mullein seed heads are collected in big white bags and the tools of the trade are a hoe and clippers. The bags get heavy once they are filled with seed heads. By the end of June it was hot even first thing in the morning and the vegetation was so tall walking through it was hard work. Mullein often hides in inaccessible places so there is a lot of bending under brush and crawling over rocks. It is a physical activity requiring walking, good balance, strong arms and stamina. If you like doing this sort of thing please volunteer. The reward is great because nothing beats being outside in our beautiful refuge enjoying the solitude, scenery, wildflowers and wildlife. And of course you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something useful too.

Trail Maintenance and Mowing
Other volunteers this month have been working with refuge staff member, Randy Hale, on trail maintenance at the Narrows trail and Jed Johnson dam trail. Our mowing team has been helping clear the guard rails along the roads and the litter crew has worked on the picnic areas and along the roads.

Other Opportunities
We have volunteers working at the front desk in the Visitor Center and behind the scenes assisting in many ways including taking photographs and keeping our social media accounts up-to-date. Thanks to you all.

Tour Volunteers Wanted
We have an urgent need right now for new tour leaders and assistant tour leaders, for a small group of volunteers to detail the Visitor Center vans
and bus each week, and for assistant hike leaders for the Thursday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. hikes.

If you want to volunteer please contact Friends of the Wichitas Volunteer Coordinator, Helen Riley, at

~ By Helen Riley

Photo of volunteers courtesy of Randy Jones