On October 17th
, 2009 a group of volunteers organized by Invasive Species Forester Annemarie Smith attacked the invasive shrub Amur Honeysuckle at Three Creeks Metro Park in Groveport, Ohio. Members of the Columbus Rotary Club
were recruited to assist with the project on an approximately 2 acre stand within the Madison Mills loop trail, near Williams Road, that was very heavily infested with the invasive shrub. Eleven volunteers recruited through the Columbus Rotary assisted with the project as well as two Fairfield County landowners.
Columbus Rotary Club, ODNR Division of Forestry, and the local community volunteers
Volunteers used loppers to cut the smaller shrubs and dragged all the cut material to a chipper provided by the Metro Park. All cut stumps were treated with herbicide to prevent re-sprouting. Two Division of Forestry Service Foresters assisted by safely and efficiently cutting the largest honeysuckle shrubs with chainsaws. Two other Division employees assisted with herbicide application and the chipping operation.
John O'Meara Metro Parks Executive Director and Columbus Rotary Club Member
The enthusiastic team of volunteers started working at about 9:15 AM and by noon about one third of the stand had been cleared of the largest honeysuckle shrubs. What just a few hours before was a nearly impenetrable thicket of honeysuckle was now a wooded area with an open understory. Honeysuckle removal improved the appearance of the area as well as species diversity by providing growing space for native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, thus proving beneficial for wildlife and park visitors alike.
Chainsaw operator with safety gear
The volunteers felt a great sense of accomplishment by participating in this effort. They all embraced the opportunity to work outdoors, do something good for the local community and the environment, and get some exercise at the same time. Everyone felt a strong sense of teamwork which seemed to energize their efforts.