In just a couple of days we’ve managed to free up a sizable area from wintercreeper (and loriope!) encroachment and the cleared space will be a focal point for our soon-to-be-scheduled early December shrub planting.
Severe infestations like this one tend to be “monosystems”. That is, there isn’t much risk to native plants during invasive removal because so few have managed to endure. Yet we always use caution and this Wednesday we managed to rescue a few Paw Paw and Hickory seedlings from the dense vines. As we continue to work in this area we’ll be watching out for the native bleeding heart and Virginia bluebells that volunteers have planted in the past.
Is it discouraging to heave thirteen heavy bags of vines with aching arms and have perhaps just a 15 x 20 foot area to show for it? It can be. But our goal is not to eradicate every invasive from every square inch of the park system. Our goal is to tip the balance and, come spring, we’ll have retaken a significant oasis with native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants needed to host diverse populations of native insects, birds, and other wildlife. As we expand healthy habitat in all sections of the park system we’ll be creating an urban wildlife corridor.
Keep an eye on our calendar for workdays and our December planting!