There are not many disadvantages in the spring. It’s finally warm enough to go outside for long periods of time and enjoy your favorite outdoor activity, but not so hot that it feels like you’re trying to breathe inside a sauna. It’s the perfect time of year, in my opinion. But, like anything else, there are downsides that come with the upsides. One of them is the emergence of those pesky weeds. While most of us only have to deal with common weeds like dandelions, ragweed, and clover in our yards, gardens, and landscapes, Indiana is home to a number of invasive weed species that can cause problems for the plant life we want to thrive.
Invasive Weed Species Found in Indiana
According to Indiana Department of Natural Resourcesexamples of non-native (i.e. “invasive”) plants found in Hoosier State include the following:
- purple loosestrife
- Japanese honeysuckle
- autumn olive tree
- shiny buckthorn
- Garlic mustard
While some, like the purple loosestrife pictured above, may look like a flower you’d plant in your landscaping, the problem is that most of them grow faster than the native plants around them, absorbing all the soil nutrition. The problem being that native plant species provide food and shelter to other important components of our ecosystem such as animals, fish and some insects, and if they cannot obtain these two very important necessities, it could affect their ability to survive. and create a domino effect throughout the ecosystem.
CISMA of Vanderburgh County Seeking Volunteers to Eliminate Invasive Weeds
While you and I can go to the store and pick up some type of weed killer to treat our weeds, nature preserves like Wesselman Woods and Howell Swamps can’t because the chemicals in those products become scorched earth. and kill everything they touch. . So they get rid of them the old-fashioned way, ripping them out of the ground with their hands. As you can imagine, with the size of these two areas, it’s quite an undertaking for a handful of people, which is why they’ve partnered with the Vanderburgh County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA ) to organize a group of “Weed Wranglers” (aka “volunteers”) on the last Saturday of each month from now until October to lend several helping hands.
The monthly draws will take place on the following days:
- May 28
- June 25
- July 30
- August 27
- September 24
- October 29
Each draw session is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to noon each month with 40 volunteer slots open for each. This could be a great opportunity for you or someone you know who is looking for community service hours as part of a school, youth group, or church. To register for one of the next days, go to Wesselman Woods website.
[Source: Wesselman Woods on Facebook]
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