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News: Weed Wrangle is on the Move


July 03, 2019

Join the many GCA member clubs participating in this effort!

The Indianapolis Garden Club hosted Indiana’s first Weed Wrangle® adding to the long list of states that are joining this effort. There are over 14 states involved and the program continues to grow across the country. Weed Wrangle® is part of the GCA’s Partners for Plants Program, a volunteer effort to help rescue our public parks and green spaces from invasive species through hands-on removal of especially harmful trees, vines, and flowering plants. 

The Indianapolis Garden Club’s (IGC) first Weed Wrangle brought out close to 70 people thanks to partnering with The Nature Conservancy, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., Indiana Wildlife Federation, Indy Parks, and several other organizations. These organizations have created a CISMA—cooperative invasive species management area—to pool resources and share data about tackling this growing problem. In the bull’s-eye for removal were Asian Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp), White Mulberry (Morus alba), and purple wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) in Graham Edward Martin Park; invasives that are choking out native species and offer no benefit to the surrounding ecosystem.

Armed with instructions, tools, and sheer determination—about twenty members of IGC attacked an area along the creek bank in the park. Seeing the dense overgrowth and scattered trash brought out a deeper level of commitment and resolve to help with these restoration efforts. Trees and bushes were either stump-cut or girdled with a tinted glyphosate herbicide. Herbicides were needed because these pernicious species will regenerate faster than an Indycar racing around the track. 

The IGC’s horticulture committee applied for and received a grant from Monarch Watch for 400 milkweed plants. Three varieties were selected for this specific location and IGC donated 50 additional plugs. Members planted them in the areas that had just been cleared of brush. Once established, they will provide nectar and habitat for butterflies and their seeds will scatter to create new havens along the creek.

Recently, The New York Times featured an article about The Garden Club of Nashville’s Partners for Plants program and its growing Weed Wrangle® initiative and called it “a force against invasive plants in our backyards and public spaces.”

For more information about hosting a Weed Wrangle® in your area click here

Photo caption: ‚ÄčIndianapolis Garden Club Members Planting Milkweed.


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