We are a volunteer group that assists the City of Upper Arlington with control of invasive plants in our community parks. We work closely with the Upper Arlington Division of Parks and Forestry and have partnered with Northwest Kiwanis, which supports our events.
Volunteer work days are held on Saturday mornings, once a month, throughout the year, weather permitting. Work day activities include cutting invasive shrubs with hand tools such as loppers or pruning saws, dragging cut material to a chipper or placing them in piles, painting cut stumps with herbicide, and picking up trash.
Bush honeysuckle and buckthorn are the most common woody invasive plants in Upper Arlington Parks, but we also see some privet and occasionally burning bush. The invasive herb garlic mustard is also present throughout our parks.
We will also assist with replanting of native trees and shrubs after the invasive plants have been substantially controlled.
Why is it important to control invasive plants in our parks?
Non-native invasive plants are hypercompetitive and dominate space and resources in our parks, displacing native trees and shrubs. Aggressive honeysuckle suppresses trees in all size clases, even those growing above them, presumably through belowground competition for water and nutrients. As a result, trees growing in honeysuckle infested stands grow more slowly, are suppressed, and may be more likely to succumb to secondary stressors.
Invasive plants reduce native plant diversity, have a negative impact on the health and vigor of the trees, and interfere with natural succession (the next generation of native trees and shrubs). If we do not control honeysuckle and other aggressive invasive plants, eventually there will be no trees in these infested areas.
Left: A section of Miller Park, before removal of woody invasive plants. Right: The same section of Miller park after honeysuckle and buckthorn removal.
Northwest Kiwanis Park
Charing Ravine Park
Cardiff Woods Park
Smith Nature Park
Reed Road Park
Upper Arlington Parks where we have worked