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Third Time’s the Charm

760Part of what makes bush honeysuckle such a problematic plant is that it grows very quickly. It grows so fast that it can choke out native plants in just a few years. If you bike, walk or run along the Olentangy Recreation Trail between West 3rd and West 5th Avenues, you can see a lot of honeysuckle along the bank, but you may not know that almost all of what you see is less than two years old.

For the last couple years, the Harrison West Society’s Parks and Green Space Committee has partnered with Battelle, HandsOn.org and Friends of the Lower Olentangy to attack the invasive plant. We’ve removed enough of it to create a stack of cut brush 10 feet high by 10 feet wide and running the entire length of the site. It may not look like it, but we’ve started to get the upper hand.

This year, we will again tackle the honeysuckle between Battelle and the Olentangy River from West 3rd to West 5th Avenues. We are hoping to make 2014 our “charm” year when we finally get the plant under control, but we need a lot of hands to make the impact that we need to make. This year’s work will be mostly mop-up and will focus on the top of the bank rather than the slope; the work should be easier and faster than it was in previous years. Please consider joining us to help tame this invasive plant, restore the natural plant balance in the area, and reopen vistas of the river. We would like to see 100 volunteers this year.

We will be working from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, August 23, 2014. At noon, a pizza lunch will be provided.

We will supply loppers, gloves and other tools, but if you have your own, please bring them so we have enough for those who do not. Some folks have found brooms, goggles and hand trimmers to be helpful. Poison ivy is present in a few areas of the site, so wear clothes that cover as much skin as you can stand on an August morning. Closed-toe shoes are a must! We will have some need for light-duty helpers to sign-in volunteers, set up lunch, sweep the trail, and supervise; you don’t have to be a lumberjack to be useful.

For additional information or to let us know you’re coming (so we know how much pizza to get), please contact parks@harrisonwest.org.

Be proud of Harrison West and help to make it a better home for yourself and for your neighbors. Volunteer on August 23.

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