Management of invasive and aggressively growing plants is important to create resilient ecosystems in our rapidly changing world. Join us as we hike and hack while learning about the natural history of Graham Cave State Park and how to control invasive plants at parks and at home. Volunteer hikers will join park staff at 9 a.m. on a naturalist history hike, which will be followed by a session on identifying and removing invasive bush honeysuckle and aggressively growing eastern red cedar with herbicide-free methods. You are welcome to join us for the entire event or just one portion.
Previously thought to be helpful, bush honeysuckle has escaped cultivation and continuously invades Missouri forests, degrading the soil health and shading saplings that are trying to grow into tall trees. If this exotic invasive shrub is not kept in check, our native forestland habitats will be dramatically impacted for years to come. To refresh the forest floor, we will learn root-docking and hand-pulling techniques to eradicate bush honeysuckle shrubs. Without historically present fires, eastern red cedar, an aggressively growing tree, has begun to encroach on prairies, open woodlands and glades. Cedar overcrowds Missouri ecosystems that harbor unique species. The small encroaching cedar trees is selectively cleared by simply cutting and piling in a way that benefits the natural area glades that are important habitat for many native Missouri species.
The hike will be no more than 1 mile and will take place on Woodland Way Trail and then off-trail during the invasion species removal portion. It is considered moderately difficult. Participants should be comfortable working and walking outdoors on rocky, sloped terrain. They are encouraged to bring water, snacks, gloves, layered clothing, and closed-toe shoes suitable for working outdoors. Work gloves and hand tools will be provided, and hot chocolate and snacks will be available.
This event is free and open to the public. The invasive plant removal is not recommended for young children.
Meet at the park visitor center. For more information, call 573-564-3476.
Registration for this event is required, and a signup link will be available here: https://icampmo1.usedirect.com/MSPWeb/Activities/Search.aspx
First Day Hikes are promoted by America’s State Parks. Click here to view more First Day Hikes at Missouri State Parks.