Saturday, April 13, 2013

Die, honeysuckle, die

"N" of GAIN is working on his Eagle Scout project. He chose a project which all scouts can participate in, for any amount of time -- eradicating invasive species from our beloved county park. Since kids as young as sixth grade are enrolled, I'm happy that the entire troop can be involved.

Training volunteers

"N" is in charge of removing honeysuckle from one acre of forest. This place is in town, which is probably the source of the honeysuckle. We spent a lot of time roaming these woods during our first seven years here. If you do a search on this blog for "giant puffballs," you'll get an idea of the terrain we were dealing with.

Here's the culprit:
Vertical stripes, light colored bark
It has 'buddy branches.' Hold your arms out and imagine: your body is the trunk and your arms are the branches. I think the science term is "opposite" but we learned Indian Creek Nature Center's
kid term first, and that's what stuck. Have a look at some buddy branches:

We cut down and applied herbicide to a LOT of honeysuckle -- little scrubby stuff, trees, bushy pieces, and everything in between. But there's still some left for next weekend.

I want to say that "N" had 16 people working in the morning and 8 in the afternoon. A common comment was one of education. Once people could identify it, they realized how widespread a problem it was, at this park and elsewhere. I would like to believe that everyone who volunteered today will remember this and be proactive against it for the rest of their lives.

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