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Service Learning at Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve October 26

A close-up of our culprit

On October 26, the CEES service learning team re-visited Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve. It was a cold and cloudy day but still many gathered to clear the invasive bush honeysuckle from the area fronting the main drive into the park. The north side of the lane was wooded while the south side lead to a wide open grassland. Both areas were affected, however the meadow seemed to only be affected on the edge of its area.

Invasive species love to colonize disturbed areas. It is easier for them to get a hold on the area when there is not as much competition from natural vegetation. The areas that we highlighted clearly displayed this preference. As we walked deeper into the woods, the population levels noticeably declined.

The bush honeysuckle proved not to be the only invasive species. We also came across a small grouping of privet bushes and there were several non-fruiting foreign pear trees scattered about. We removed those that we found and made quite an atrocious pile of honeysuckle too. This was the last service learning event of the season. It will be interesting to see how our efforts persist from semester to semester. Thanks to everybody for a great season!

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