Since 2014, we have removed invasives from 50 acres of forest on both our campuses, and we are working on additional acres. The work of Polatin Ecological Services has been augmented by the efforts of volunteers (above, resident Barbara Walvoord prepares to cut an invasive Oriental bittersweet vine.
The photos below document the results of our work:
On our east campus, this photo, taken in November, 2014, shows invasive red burning bush (winged euonymous) and yellow-green honeysuckle invading the forest. They are especially visible at this time of the year because most native plants are dormant or show muted colors.
Two years later, a photo of the same spot (but with a wider span) shows the burning bush and honeysuckle gone. The large bush in the middle is native winterberry, which, along with high bush blueberry and other natives, is now thriving in our forest.
The next photo shows barberry moving into our forest on the north campus in April, 2014. It is especially visible at this time of the year, because it greens up before native plants do. If we did nothing, barberry might form an increasingly impenetrable mass in our forest.
The next photo shows the same spot after we removed the barberry and other invasives. It was taken a bit later in spring, in 2016, to show how the barberry is dead but other plants are now able to thrive.