Invasive species such as European Buckthorn, Oriental Bittersweet vine, Tartarian Honeysuckle and Manitoba Maple are plentiful in the forest area. Some were brought in when it was a Seaway Nursery, and some have spread from surrounding areas. These species are outcompeting the native vegetation and preventing growth of new native plantings. Habitat for native insects, birds and wildlife is reduced, and water quality in the wetland and pond damaged.
The City and the Friends are partnering to hire Giles Restoration to apply a herbicide to 3 focus areas of the forest, for a day during the last week of November. The herbicide is Garlon RTU and it is sprayed around the stem base, and on foliage. It hardens in one hour, and has no toxicity for wildlife or pets after this. The park will be closed for most of the day, and signs will be posted 48 hours prior to advise the public of this. On the day, Friends volunteers will be at park entrances to talk to the public, and tape barriers will be across trail entrances.
Giles Restoration will do a follow up application in April, date TBA. If the treatment is seen as successful, in early fall 2019, the treated areas will be replanted with native trees and shrubs. Further treatments of other areas may follow. Removal of these invasives will make growth of native trees and plants possible, resulting in more habitat for native wildlife, and improved water quality in the wetlands.
The Friends would appreciate your support and cooperation of this project. Watch for signs at the park designating the closure day.