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Help Protect the Autrey Mill Forest

Autrey Mill organizes volunteers to help remove invasive species from the preserve.

It comes as a shock to many visitors that some of the plant, tree, and animal species found at the preserve aren’t “supposed” to be here. Sidestepping philosophical debates about whether invasive species are “bad” or are simply a manifestation of the effects that a global species has on local habitats, we can safely say that these invasive species are not historically native to the area. As such, we seek to remove these species, in an effort to maintain the forest so that it most closely resembles its historical roots.

We have approximately 100 species of native plants (including trees) documented within the borders of the preserve. In addition to this, we have documented 14 species of non-native, invasive species. The invasive species documented in the preserve are as follows:

  • Privet Ligustrum sinense
  • Oregon Grape Mahonia bealei
  • Japanese Honey Suckle Lonicera japonica
  • Chinese Wisteria Wisteria sinensis
  • Common Periwinkle Vinca minor
  • Bull Thistle Cirsium vulgare
  • Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellate
  • Thorny Olive Elaeagnus pungens
  • Multiflora Rose Rosa multiflora
  • Crabapple Malus sp.
  • Eglish Ivy Hedera helix
  • Mimosa Tree Albizia julibrissin
  • Mondo Grass Ophiopogon japonicas
  • Princess Tree Paulownia tomentosa

These invasive species cause a number of problems, and are often detrimental to the habitat. Some of these species out-compete desired, native species or even alter the soil chemistry, preventing historically native plants from thriving. Often, in protected habitats such as our preserve, steps are taken to remove these invasive species. Earlier this year, we applied for a grant from Darden to help us fund this project and they graciously agreed to provide us with $1,000 to help meet our goals.

Thanks to this grant, we will be hosting two volunteer project days. On these days, members of the public are invited to sign up and help us restore and protect our habitats. As you can imagine, we eschew the use of herbicides when at all possible, so we will be relying on volunteers to help us remove these plants by hand.

If you are interested in signing up for either of the following dates, please send an email to autreymill@bellsouth.net. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age, and volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers must bring a completed volunteer waiver with them, and come dressed for the weather.

Dates / Times:

September 29, 2012 10:00am-2:00pm

October 13, 2012 10:00am-2:00pm

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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