Fort Wayne area parks fighting invasive shrub

Honeysuckle removal at Fox Island.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Park officials in the Fort Wayne area are looking to take a big whack out of an invasive shrub that’s been spreading across the landscape.

The Allen County Parks Department is organizing four honeysuckle removal days in an effort to remove some of the shrub from two county parks, The Journal Gazette reported.

The plant can choke out existing shrubs and saplings and shade the area under it to prevent the new growth of other plants. Thriving in open meadows and along forest edges, naturalists say the shrub quickly dominates the landscape, choking out all other plant life.

Natalie Haley, environmental educator for the Allen County Parks Department, said honeysuckle has crowded the banks of Cedar Creek in Metea County Park.

“If you walk along the creek there’s areas you can’t even see the creek,” Haley said.

The parks department was organizing volunteers to help with honeysuckle removal Monday and Tuesday at Fox Island Park and Nov. 3-4 at Metea County Park. Parks department employees have battled honeysuckle for at least four years and along the way enlisted the help of volunteers from businesses and local organizations.

At Fox Island Park, the targeted areas are in younger parts of the forest and near the marsh. Haley said one goal is to keep honeysuckle off the park’s glacial sand dune.

“We’re just trying to keep it down as much as possible,” she said.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

 

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