The woodland located between West Pine and the Metrolink line — near the northeast corner of Forest Park — was the sight of our annual Honeysuckle Removal Day in 2012. While a large amount of this invasive species was removed, the area remained overgrown and inaccessible to all but the most adventurous Park visitors. Vines and fallen debris made walking hazardous, and dense undergrowth made it difficult to see where you were going. And so the area remained something of a forgotten wasteland.
At the end of the summer I was taking a walk through this area. I was never really sure what to do with it; at over six acres it was too large to mow frequently enough to keep the undergrowth down. It occurred to me that if I cut some paths through it I would make it accessible and divide it into sections that I could tackle one by one.
I had spent so much time feeling overwhelmed by the size of this woodland area that I had never stopped to appreciate its beauty. The irony is that only when I stopped thinking about what to do with it and took a minute to appreciate it, the solution presented itself.
Especially now as the fall color is peaking, this area of the Park looks better than ever.
Mark is a Forest Park Forever Horticulturist responsible for maintaining 123 acres on the Park's east end. For more information about Mark and the rest of our Land Management team, please click here.