Invasive plants were removed from local parks and preserves
Timucuan Parks Foundation and its park partners had a great turnout for the statewide Weed Wrangle® on Saturday, Feb. 29. Volunteers joined the three events led by TPF and its partners at the Ribault Monument and Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville and at Cradle Creek Preserve in Jacksonville Beach.
“We really appreciate everyone who came out to our Weed Wrangle events and those happening throughout the First Coast,” said Felicia Boyd, program and outreach director for TPF. “Not only were we able to remove invasive plants at our local parks and preserves, but we were also able to educate the volunteers on what types of invasive plants could be growing in their own neighborhoods.”
More than two dozen people, including students from Sandalwood’s Green State environmental club, came out to Cradle Creek Preserve in Jacksonville Beach to help remove some of the Brazilian pepper from the area. The plant, which is in the same family as poison ivy, can shade out desirable plant species and displace plants and animals.
At the Ribault Monument in the Ft. Caroline area, volunteers worked to remove sword fern from the area. The invasive sword fern can take over and displace other ferns, low growing plants and ground covers. It has serrated leaflets and can produce tubers distinguishing them from the native kind which does not produce tubers and has more sharply pointed leaflet tips. Volunteers also worked on removing air potatoes, which produce a vine that grows to the tops of trees and overtake the native plants.
Volunteers helped out at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park removing both sword fern and kalanchoe, an invasive succulent that homeowners like to plant in their gardens. Kalanchoe is a fast grower with shallow roots that has become a problem in beach dune areas.
Weed Wrangle® Florida was coordinated by the Florida Invasive Species Partnership and Garden Club of America and was held in conjunction with Native Invasive Species Awareness Week. Events were coordinated by organizations across the state to remove invasive plants and educate people on what to look out for in their neighborhoods and parks.