Seven years of it.
That's what it takes to get rid of invasive plants.
A group of volunteers will work on that timeline on Saturday, May 7, when they pull up and cut down multiflora rose, honeysuckle, and other invasive species along the streambank at Rising Sun's Triangle Park.
"Doing that for seven years depletes their root stock and then the natives fill in and there's less chance for the invasives to gain a foothold," said Rupert Rosetti.
"They have been there for the memorable past," he said of the invasive plant species. "What's there has been there for years."
The volunteers will be replacing the invasive plants with ones that are native to the area, said Rosetti, who coordinates Octoraro Watershed Association projects at the park.
"We will be putting in redbud, elderberry, and other native species," Rosetti said. The plants have been donated by the Octoraro Native Plant Nursery.
Native plants are more attractive. They also offer better support to wildlife native to the area. "They are better for the native species of birds and bugs," Rosetti said. "They provide the food needed for the habitat."
The volunteers will also be checking on how well last year's plantings made it through the winter.
The May 7 work will be the most recent in a series of projects at the park and adjacent areas along Stone Run the OWA has done since 2012. Although small groups of volunteers have been working in the area recently, the last big project was in August, 2015.
"This will be the first big work project this year [at the park]," Rosetti said. "We're going to be doing an area we haven't touched yet, right along the stream buffer."
Getting underway is the most difficult part of the job. "Once a crew of people starts, it goes remarkably fast," Rosetti said. "We had a group of ninth graders from Rising Sun High School earlier and it's amazing how much they got done in two hours."
A group of students from West Nottingham Academy will be helping with this weekend's project. Those students have helped with the OWA's cleanups this year.
"We can always use more volunteers," Rosetti said.
Anyone willing to help on Saturday, May 7, should meet Rosetti at Triangle Park, Walnut St., Rising Sun, at 9 a.m.
Tools will be provided, as will gloves. "If you have loppers or other tools, it would be great if you can bring them," Rosetti said. "Volunteers should wear long-sleeve shirts and trousers. They won't be getting into the stream, but good shoes or boots are needed. Flip-flops are not what we need."
The project was originally scheduled for April 9, but was postponed when it snowed that day.
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