July 23, 2008

Honeysuckle sucks

You like the smell, but do you really want it to move in with you? Yep, I'm talking about honeysuckle.

In the summer 2008 copy ofThe Lady-Slipper, the newsletter of the Kentucky Native Plant Society, Sarah Wolff from the Olmsted Parks Conservancy writes about the devastation honeysuckle caused in Louisville's Cherokee Park. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (yes, the very same man who designed Central Park in New York City and numerous other parks in cities across the country), by 2004 Cherokee Park was overrun -- 80% of it with bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and much of the rest of it with "familiar --but invasive -- vines such as English Ivy, Creeping Charlie, Bittersweet, and Porcelain Berry" (Wolff, 10).

The Conservancy has been working since 2004 to allow the ecosystem to regain its original sturdy health. You can almost feel the sweat dripping when you read the statistics: 50% of the bush honeysuckle removed, 2000 native flowers planted, and 1600 trees and shrubs. The project continues. Read more about it -- or find out how to get your hands on a Hike Every Trail T-shirt for only $20 -- or join the Conservancy and get a free hat (gotta do it by September 1, though) at their website.

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