Throughout the month of June, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) will be educating the community on its efforts to eradicate invasive species within the parks system. Events and activities include buckthorn harvesting and ink making, invasive species walks, and a native species scavenger hunt.
In recent years, invasive species have become more and more of a problem, as they have entrenched themselves into the regional landscape. From the emerald ash borer to Japanese knotweed to the spotted lanternfly, there is no dearth of invasive enemies to deal with. For that reason, BOPC is dedicating the month of June to the fight against invasive plant species.
Invasive species (flora) create monocultures. They often:
- Produce leaves sooner which shade out native plants
- Have more extensive root systems which tap into water sources
- Release chemicals into the soil which can stop other plants from growing
As part of a concerted effort to identify and eradicate invasive species, BOPC is welcoming eight volunteers (19- to 24-year-olds) from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) who will help to remove invasive plants, restore native plants, partake with community engagement and education, and lead volunteer groups.
“Invasive Species threaten the ecological integrity of our parks, they detract from their beauty, safety, and the Olmstedian values. Removing them and reestablishing our native plant life will be great in the immediate and for the longevity of the parks,” said Kristie Munson, Volunteer Coordinator and driving force behind Invasive Species Month. “It is important we involve the community and empower them with the right knowledge and tools to continue their work against invasive species. Community ownership in the project will support the ongoing effort to address these issues and challenges in perpetuity.”
Invasive Species Month activities calendar and sign-up link can be found here: Volunteer Opportunities.
Lead image: Japanese knotweed | Image – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on Flickr