This past Saturday, our Environmental Education Graduate Program teamed up with Ashland Parks and Recreation to co-host an invasive plant removal work party in Lithia Park. Several regular park volunteers and EE graduate students braved the thorns and removed Himalayan blackberry, as well as catchweed (Gallium), from alongside Ashland Creek and the trail.
Invasive species can be native or introduced but share the common characteristic of the ability to rapidly dominate a landscape.
This results in decreased plant diversity therefore lowering the diversity of animals that depend on the plants for food and shelter. Himalayan blackberry is a notorious invasive plant throughout the Pacific Northwest and California that forms dense thickets in riparian areas. These blackberry fortresses alter natural stream flows, bank stabilization and block animal passage affecting many species from native willows and cottonwoods, to salmon, beavers, turtles and birds.
Thank you to Ashland Parks and Recreation and all of our dedicated and hardworking volunteers for a beautiful and beneficial day in the park! Interested in volunteering? The Volunteers In Parks (VIP) will be cleaning up Railroad Park (7th & ‘A’ Street) this Saturday, June 7, and the Calle (behind Sesame Restaurant, Granite side of Ashland Creek) this Sunday, June 8, both from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Come get dirty and help beautify your local parks!