The many years of human occupation on Midway have taken their toll on the native plant community. Outplanting of native plants is a major component of USFWS habitat restoration efforts on the atoll. But space for growing seedlings or cuttings out to planting size has never been adequate. In May 2015, Friends of Midway Atoll NWR purchased a wide-span shadehouse kit for the Refuge and had it shipped from Australia to expand the on-island native plant propagation program.
The new shadehouse measures 21 x 29 meters. The covering is a lightweight commercial-grade knitted shade cloth for the roof and walls. Hinged-swing doorways will open on each end of the structure. The location chosen for the new shade house is on an existing concrete pade between the Transportation Building and the Seaplane Hangar. Using an existing pad avoided displacing any current nesting habitat. The location is centrally located and will be convenient for staff and volunteer access. It’s also located near a water main, so connecting to water will be simple.
Defense Bases Services, Inc., erected the structure over two consecutive weekends. DBSI’s lead facilities mechanic, Moo, devised an innovative approach that made the installation more secure and efficient. The support poles were cut to length and steel plates were welded to the bottoms. The plates were then secured to the concrete using anchoring bolts. The entire shadehouse can be easily disassembled and moved, if needed.
Next steps include connecting water for the sprinkler system and purchasing tables and other accessories. USFWS repurposed some greenhouse supplies from Laysan Island.
Just add plants, water and a lot of time by USFW staff and volunteers!
For more details about this project, see our Winter 2015 Newsletter.