This winter, the Restoration Committee is doubling down, bringing both volunteers and expertise to GNPS Restoration sites. Members of the committee planned meetings in December at both Stone Mountain Nature Garden and at Herbert Taylor Park to learn the latest techniques for removing invasive species.
Jane Trentin and Cal Crutchfield, GNPS members, attended the Innovations in Invasive Plant Control Conference in Nashville where experts from around the world presented ways to address invaders in our environment. Many of the species that threaten our parks come from surrounding neighbors who unknowingly use invasive species like privet, vinca, English ivy, nandina and mahonia in their landscapes. Speakers at the conference discussed techniques that have proven effective in the Southeast and our members returned to Atlanta eager to put the information to work.
Restoration work is very rewarding, as results are seen immediately and as the seasons progress. On December 30 as we pulled ivy off the trees in Herbert Taylor Park, we uncovered some native River cane (Arundinaria gigantea) and opened up an area where it was thriving. Hand pulling a stand of Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) revealed American holly (Ilex opaca) and Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum). Our next meeting is January 15th from 2-4 at Stone Mountain. Join the Intown GNPS Restoration committee, guided by Jane Trentin, for a hike on the trail just off the Nature Garden parking lot. See the forest in all its winter glory. We’ll have a weed wrench to yank the mahonia that has invaded the area. We will also encounter some Chinese holly and American holly, allowing us to compare and learn to tell the difference between the two. Keep an eye out for the email with the registration link this week. Contact Suzy Nicksic, Intown GNPS Restoration Chair, with questions at email@example.com.
Pictured are the groups that gathered to clear areas of Herbert Taylor Park. Besides a sense of accomplishment (see before & after photos below), volunteers have a lot of fun chatting and learning about the invasive species we are removing and the native plants we are discovering. Come experience the joy, 2:00 – 4:00 PM on Sunday, January 15, at Stone Mountain Nature Garden and January 29, at Herbert Taylor Park (1343 Pasadena Ave NE, Atlanta, 30306). Check back for the schedule of future meetings at other GNPS Restoration sites.