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Fall 2013 Service Learning at Fort Harrison Sept 6

Before Removal

The goal of this project was to remove invasive Japanese bush honeysuckle. The plant was first brought to America to help control erosion but soon became part of the problem. The plant is allelopathic which hinders growth from other plants within the bush’s understory. This creates a dead zone beneath every bush and without the matrix of roots from other plants, makes the soil vulnerable to erosion.

Students worked in groups with loppers to remove as much of this troublesome plant as possible. Small orange flags were placed by the stumps so that they could be easily spotted by the DNR ground maintenance crew who were following behind us with herbicide application. Fort Harrison employees have had a lot of success with their method and can report the park to be 99 percent free of invasives.

More will have to be done to stop any new seedlings. That is why the service learning team plans to work with DNR over a year or more to see that the results continue to be successful and that invasive honeysuckle can be eradicated from park grounds.

Students worked really hard and made quick work of the area set aside for them. Soon there was a mountain of brush waiting to be hauled away. Everyone could see the obvious difference our efforts had produced.

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