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Volunteers Tackle Never-Ending Invasive Plants

For at least 15 years, the Friends of Dyke Marsh have worked to control many species of invasive plants in the preserve.  Invasive plants displace native plants and replace wildlife food sources with which native wildlife co-evolved.

They reduce biodiversity  and compete for limited natural resources like soil, water, light, nutrients and space.  Experts estimate that 20 percent of the parkway’s plants are not native.

On December 17, 2022, eight eager volunteers again tackled invasive plants.

 Austen Ballard slayed a giant bittersweet vine
Austen Ballard “slayed” a giant bittersweet vine.
 
Ballard invasive vine sculpture
Ballard made “invasive vine sculpture” with porcelain berry (left) and Oriental bittersweet (right). These vines were about three inches thick. Porcelain berry is a vigorous invader that blankets plants and kills them by blocking sunlight.
 
Bittersweet
Bittersweet -- Oriental bittersweet is an invasive vine can climb and girdle trees up to the canopy level and form thick masses over shrubs and plants producing dense shade that kills them.
 
Leader Jim Gearing collected examples of invasive vines in winter to help volunteers identify them
Leader Jim Gearing collected examples of invasive vines in winter to help volunteers identify them.
 
orange tags on honeysuckle for eradication
The group tied orange tags on bush honeysuckle for eradication.
 
Austen Ballard Jim Gearing the FODM leader and Mireya Stirzaker invasive plant specialist with the GWM Parkway
Austen Ballard, Jim Gearing (the FODM leader) and Mireya Stirzaker, invasive plant specialist, with the GWM Parkway, National Park Service, are stalwarts.

 

See the left panel of our home page for forthcoming invasive sessions, generally scheduled twice a month.

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