by Lauren Enda
Loveland, like most of southwestern Ohio, has been invaded. According to UC biology professor, Denis Conover, “Amur honeysuckle is now the most abundant woody plant in Hamilton County. One bush can produce thousands of seeds that get dispersed by birds and mammals. Native plants just don’t have a chance. Everything that depends on the native plants — insects, birds — can be lost.” * The onslaught of invasive species is troublesome and dangerous to our local ecosystems. Multiple types of invasives are resident in Loveland’s nature preserves, parks, roadsides, and back yards. And we must eradicate them as the first step in healing our woodlands and natural spaces.
How can you help? Fight to protect Loveland’s woodlands on Saturday, September 10th from 9am to 3pm at the West Loveland Nature Preserve. (See further information below.) A coalition of residents, City of Loveland Public Works, non-local volunteers, and hired contractors will be working together to start healing the city’s green spaces. This event is hopefully the first of many to remove invasives from our city one area at a time.
Everyone is invited to join the fight. An invasive removal contractor, Honeysuckle Removal,** will do the really hard labor of cutting the invasives, many of which are decades old and twenty feet tall. Volunteers will work behind them to apply herbicide to ensure the invasives don’t regrow and then pile the debris for the City of Loveland Public Works to pick up after the event. The more volunteers we have, the more the contractor can focus on cutting invasives and the quicker the rebirth of the woodlands will be. In a show of good will, the contractor is “donating” two people from their company to help us get through the invasives quicker and educate volunteers. Pretty great, right?
You can volunteer for an hour, or you can come all day. If you don’t have time to stay and work, please stop by anyway to learn a bit more about invasives, their dangers, and how to eradicate them in your own yards.
Many intractable problems exist in our world today, most of them so huge and so far away that we may feel there is nothing we can do. But removing invasives is relatively easy, local, doable, and extremely beneficial to our ecosystems. Everyone can make a real difference in fighting this massive problem. You will see direct results of your work, helping sunlight hit the forest floor for the first time in years. Joining the fight for healing the West Loveland Nature Preserve is as easy as showing up on Saturday, September 10th. Once you see the transformation of the area, you will better understand the problem, the solution, and how important this work is.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Lauren at [email protected].
What: Invasive removal at West Loveland Nature Preserve
When: Saturday, September 10th from 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Park on Glen Lake Rd, Pheasant Woods Court, or Shingleoak Drive. There is an entrance to the Preserve near there along West Loveland Avenue
What to wear: Long-sleeved shirt and long trousers, hat, and if desired, sunscreen and bug spray
What to bring: Sturdy work gloves, water bottle, eye protection if you have it
Lauren Enda lives in Loveland at Hidden Creek