Welcome to Swetts Meadow!
Swetts Meadow is located in Limington, ME and owned by the state. Swetts Meadow is roughly 20-25 minutes from the USM Gorham campus. I chose this wetland because I can access it easily and I know how to get there; I drive by every week so it is convenient to stop and make observations. This wetland is classified as a Wet Meadow - dominantly freshwater forested/shrub swamp. Swetts Meadow has an access point by the roadway, and is circled by a forested area.
Soil classification shows that the majority of the soil in the meadow is sandy loam mixed with areas of wet peat. Approximately 56.3 acres of
Swetts Meadow has soil classified as being hydric. Soils with hydric conditions develop under saturation, flooding, or ponding conditions long enough to develop aerobic conditions in the upper portion of the soil. Based on this definition, the hydric soils at Swetts Meadow are dark and wet with high accumulation of organic matter (Web Soil Survey, 2012).
There are many water features to consider, including water table, flooding frequency, ponding frequency, and surface water. Firstly, the "water table" refers to a saturated zone in the soil (Web Soil Survey, 2012). In Swetts Medow, the depth to water table ranges from 0-25 cm where the hydric soils are located, and 50-100 cm where soil is not classified as hydric. Flooding frequency in the hydric area is considered none to rare, and the ponding frequency is classified as frequent. When I visited the wetland, there was standing water.
Vegetation I expect to see at the meadow.The Maine DEP’s a Guide for Code Enforcement Officers (Tiner, 2012), USGA PLANT Database (USGA, 2012), and Vegetation of Maine Wetlands lecture notes (Wilson, 2012) were used to gather all information present, all accessed on 3/30/12
Wildlife & Other Interesting Facts
The wetland appeared to be in good condition, besides the rusty culvert and a sign post in the water. Since a road cuts through a portion of the meadow, it may be affected by the application of road salts in the winter, heavy metals from car exhaust, and other disturbances. It would be interesting to look into some of these factors.
I researched Swetts Meadow on Academic Search Complete, Environment Search Complete, and Google Scholar, but no results were found. A simple google search resulted in finding some sparse information about the meadow. From TopoZone.com, I found a topographic map of the wetland - along with the following information:
“Swetts Meadow is a Swamp in the state of Maine (county of York), located at latitude-longitude coordinates of N 43.72948 and W-70.7009. Swetts Meadow is shown in the center of the topographic (topo) map, which is sourced from the United States Geographical Survey map USGS Limington quad. The nearest major town is Limington, ME” (TopoZone, 2012).
Other than this small bit of information, I found this location listed on a hunting website titled expertgps.com, catering to the York, County area. Coordinates were listed, as well as an interactive aerial map.
Expert GPS. (2012). Accessed on April 2nd, 2012. http://www.expertgps.com/
National Wetlands Inventory (2012). Accessed on January 22nd, 2012. http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/
Tiner, Ralph W. (2012). Maine Wetlands and their Boundaries: A Guide for Code Enforcement Officers. Maine DEP. Accessed on March 30th, 2012. http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wetlands/meadow.htm
TopoZone (2012). Accessed on April 2nd, 2012. http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=43.7294&lon=-70.7014&s=50&size=s
United States Department of Agriculture. (2012). Web Soil Survey. http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx
United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (2012). Wetlands Mapper: USGS Topo. http://220.127.116.11/Wetlands/WetlandsMapper.html
USGA Wetland Indicator Status (2012). USGA PLANTS Database. Accessed on March 30th, 2012. http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html
Wilson, Karen. (2012). Vegetation of Maine Wetlands. Lecture 5 Notes. [pdf]. Accessed on March 30th, 2012.
Wetland information and photos by Erin Henry, Department of Environmental Science, Class of 2013