On November 8, thanks to a combined effort from Forest Park Forever staff and 60 volunteers, we had yet another successful honeysuckle removal event. In all, about 4.4 acres of Bush Honeysuckle were cleared by volunteers who cut, treated and chipped their way through a portion of John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest on this brisk Saturday morning. This area had become invaded with honeysuckle that had overgrown many of our native species. The area now provides a better view and better habitat for native species to flourish.
The removal of honeysuckle in this part of Forest Park should provide more sunlight to the woodland floor, allowing for better germination and growth of some of our favorite wildflowers and native grass species. This in turn should provide better opportunities for many native pollinator species — such as bees and butterflies — as well as foraging habitat for birds and mammals. It is the this type of effort and collaboration that has helped Forest Park Forever beautify Forest Park and provide a better visitor experience while also improving the health and function of ecosystems within the Park.
With many areas of Forest Park still infested by the invasive Bush Honeysuckle, our annual removal event continues to be an exciting and successful means of action. Through continued efforts like the honeysuckle removal, daily volunteer hours and a helping hand from knowledgeable land owners who continue to fight off invasive species outside of the Park, we are hopeful that there will be less need for honeysuckle removal at Forest Park in the future.
Thank you again to everyone who was involved. The incredible amount of support and passion for the maintenance and management of our park’s natural areas is very encouraging and really contributes to the health and beauty that Forest Park has become so well known for.