Grier girls battle invasive plants and plant native seedlings to help save the environment.
For the second year in a row, the Garden Club participated in an ongoing project at the Fort Roberdeau historic site in nearby Sinking Valley to remove privet (an invasive plant native to China). Students worked diligently under the direction of Jody Walace, affectionately called the Creature Teacher. They took to the “battlefield” armed with hand pruners, loppers, and bow saws to clear all of the privet from around a native black haw viburnum tree with a yellow ribbon tied around it. Unlike the small deep blue berries of privet, the fruits of native viburnum tree provide nutritional benefits for many native birds and other wildlife. The girls planted native dogwood, spicebush, chestnut oak, tulip tree, and viburnum seedlings in the area that they cleared.
Dr. Stan Katola took the girls on a tour of the Fort Roberdeau bluebird trail and explained the vital role bluebirds play in the area’s food web. Bluebirds are native to this area and they remain here over the winter months instead of migrating. They survive on the berries of native trees during the winter. The girls’ hard work will be a lasting contribution to not only the hundreds of bluebirds that live along the trail, but it will also benefit the wildlife of the ecosystem as a whole.
Before we left, the girls tied a yellow ribbon of their own around a native hackberry tree that was surrounded by privet for the next group of Weed Warriors to free. We’re looking forward to coming back next year!