Reported by Marian Styles
Hikers love the birds, bears, and butterflies living in Shenandoah National Park (SNP). Not so loved, at least by SNP naturalists, are the non-native plants that are crowding out the park’s native plants.
Liz Lyons, John Shannon, and I joined SNP ranger Cindy Blugerman to try and make a dent in two varieties of invasive plants infesting SNP: Japanese stiltgrass and lady’s thumb. We met Cindy and one other volunteer at Big Meadows at 10 a.m. on this cool August morning.
|Liz Lyons pulling stilt grass|
Cindy showed us how to identify the two invaders, and we set to work pulling and bagging them. Liz and I worked off the left side of the Story of the Forest Trail (the park service had sprayed the right side with something to kill the stiltgrass). John focused his attention on the right side, beginning with removing some bittersweet.
Quite a few hikers stopped to ask Cindy what we were doing. Hopefully, that information will increase public awareness of the danger SNP faces from invasives.
We worked until shortly after 2 p.m. All told, the five of us had filled 11 30-gallon trash bags with noxious weeds. Cindy gave us t-shirts and caps with volunteer logos, and the rain that had engulfed Charlottesville most of the day held off until after we left.