An Action-Oriented "Invasives Awareness Week" Ends

We’ve spent some time in the past few weeks talking about this past week—Invasives Awareness Week & Autralian Pine: One of Florida's Least Wanted. I posted a photo of some coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata) on Facebook and asked what you have done about invasives this week. The most amusing answer was from Jeff Wright: “I removed ardisia, kudzu, air potato bulbils, some brazilian pepper and a handful of snowbirds. =)“  But Judith Benson’s comment reminds us that we don’t need a group to take action: “Air potato raid (small scale - 1 woman band) in Winter Springs!” Fighting invasives is a battle where we can all help and individual efforts do make a difference.
Formerly a Girl Scout Camp, Clay County’s Camp Chowenwaw consists of
150 acres of beautiful forest and wetlands sitting on the banks of Black Creek
not far from the St. Johns River.
Coral ardisia has invaded Camp Chow's woods.

Even though there’s a lot to do in my own yard, I spent Thursday morning at Clay County’s Camp Chowenwaw helping an enthusiastic group of volunteers pulling coral ardisia from the wooded areas. Clay County bought this 150-acre property from the Girl Scouts several years ago and is  working to repair original buildings, add new pavilions, and better manage the surrounding woods. It’s a lovely park at the mouth of Black Creek near the St. John’s River.

While there’s more work to do on the invasives on the property, several broad areas have been cleared of the ardisia, for now.

Some of the volunteers at Camp Chow. Ann Stodola, park ranger is on the right

Being careful not to loose any berries, the ardisias are
bagged and ready for the trash--not yard waste.

Even without berries, it's easy to spot
the distinctive leaves with crenate borders
--hence the species name "crenata."

The dogwoods (Cornus florida) were
blooming.  This is why you need to
get out in the woods in spring.

Native partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
were the other red-berried plants in the woods.

Beautiful wetlands with irises (Iris spp) springing forth. I must come back
in a few weeks to see them bloom.
Let us know of your invasives projects.  Thanks for reading.

Ginny Stibolt


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