If you are in school, then summer is vacation time, but if you are a member of Columbia Audubon Society, summer is growing season for invasive species. And so a decision was made at the April board meeting that CAS will participate in the new Adopt-A-Trail project sponsored by Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The Adopt-A-Trail project is designed to remove invasive plant species along all the trails in Columbia. If you have walked, hiked, or biked the trails, then you know how pervasive bush honeysuckle is, not to mention autumn olive, Japanese honeysuckle, and Euonymus. I could go on.
Columbia Audubon Society adopted the quarter-mile segment of Scott’s Branch Trail that runs along the south side of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. Working a total of 46 hours, volunteers cut and stacked vegetation and applied herbicide to stumps along the adopted segment.
Removing the invasives revealed cans, bottles, plastic, and just plain litter. It was at that timely point that Kylie Tillman, Youth in Action Intern, contacted CAS about a field trip at CANS, with an offer for volunteers to do some clean-up.
I met Kylie and her students, Brenden, Jordan, Kameron, Caven, Aron, and Hannah on Tuesday, July 12. We walked the CANS trails talking about birds (of course), prairies, habitat, trees, and invasives. Following the hike we donned work gloves and collected trash along the CAS-adopted stretch of trail. The photo is proof that everyone was happy for a job well done. CAS is proud to say “thank you” for a grand total of 52 volunteer hours of work. There is a quarter mile of Scott’s Branch Trail that is now free of honeysuckle and trash. – by Bill Mees