On Friday I helped out with invasive plant management that incoming students at Alvernia College were performing at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Nearly 100 students came to Hopewell to work; other students were doing trail maintenance and other projects elsewhere as part of a day of service required of all freshmen students.
The students divided into small teams and fanned out around Hopewell Village. Our team was pulling Japanese stiltgrass and wineberry from a steep bank above the ironmaster's mansion—an area that was once part of the ironmaster's garden and included a stone wall (in the background above) of its greenhouse. We also cut vines off of the trees above. (The ironmaster's garden was used to feed the house staff and furnace workers and so was an important part of the village.)
The day's work was organized by the National Park Service's Mid-Atlantic Exotic Plant Management Team.
Since invasive species know no property boundaries we can be more effective in managing them as a regional effort. It was worth my time to work with a group near Crow's Nest Preserve because we are affected by many of the same species. Most of the organizations that manage open space in our region belong to the Hopewell Big Woods partnership which facilitates cooperation on work such as this.