Of course when someone asks you to promote a Weed Wrangle you are a little hesitant and admit it your mind went there as well. Nope this one is on the up and up! The Knoxville Garden Club is sponsoring Knoxville’s first ever Weed Wrangle on Saturday. So grab your gloves and volunteer at Ijams, Lakeshore, Knoxville’s Botanical garden or Wood Property Park.
Let’s break it down. If you love the outdoors and want to help clean up and learn about invasive weeds, we have half of your Saturday covered! All you need to bring is gloves. You’ll be supervised by experts in invasive weed management. Here are a few of the plants that we will make skedaddle: honeysuckle Chinese privet, winter creeper and English Ivy.
MEET THE ENEMY
Green is not always good. Tennessee landscapes are encountering growing threats from some non-native plants. Invasive plants introduced in this region decades ago for agricultural or landscaping purposes are now a serious concern for our parks, our public green spaces, our own backyards. More and more, experts warn, this city’s beautiful native trees, plants and wildlife are losing the fight against these aggressive plants, vines, trees and insects that consume nutrients, disrupt the ecological balance and disfigure the outdoor world where Knoxvillians hike, bike, picnic, ride horses and mountain bikes, or just relax. Some invasive plants are quite beautiful with colorful flowers and pleasing scents. But make no mistake: They are quietly lethal. If left unchecked, future generations might never glimpse the forest floor, as alien undergrowth shrouds and chokes trees large and small.
WHAT’S BEING DONE
Inspired by national and international efforts now underway, Weed Wrangles across the state and Weed Wrangle Knoxville represent a fresh new push to stem the tide of biological pollution in our area. The goal is two-fold: restoration and preservation. Organizers seek to raise awareness of the “green scourge” before more of our native plants lose the fight for the light and nutrients they require to survive. The Knoxville Garden Club, a member of The Garden Club of America, and other planners are working hard to pull in other local groups to establish a corps of organized resistance to this blight on our environment. The Legacy Parks Foundation, Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, Lakeshore Park, the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council and the City of Knoxville are just a few of the partners now backing Weed Wrangle Knoxville.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
First of all, please consider participating in the first-ever Weed Wrangle Knoxville event, set for Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 9 a.m. to noon in at least four locations in Knoxville. These include Ijams Nature Park; The Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum; Lakeshore Park and the Urban Wilderness. For more information, please visit www.weedwrangle.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make a difference by removing any invasive plants that appear on your property; this prevents their inevitable spread to other yards and public spaces. Always try to landscape with native plants and avoid the purchase of potentially invasive species sold by some nurseries. A number of the traits that make plants highly desirable ornamentals also make them ideal weeds. Finally, help us spread the word about the broadening fight against invasive plants. Knowledge, after all, is power.