As part of NC invasive species week, TLC volunteers and staff planted over 500 small shrubs and trees along a creek at the Irvin Nature Preserve. Many familiar faces came out for the day inlcuding several orginal Weedwackers. The Weedwackers are an ongoing TLC volunteer group that is working to tackle invasive species across the Triangle.
Many of these Weedwackers had mapped and cleared the infestation of Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) along the creek a year ago. Autumn Olive is one of NC's top invasive plants. This shrub had created a thick mat in the creek drainage. The shrub was taking over the native vegetation and decreasing the biodiversity of the site. With the Autumn Olivie gone, TLC volunteers stepped up to to the plate to put some great natives back in the ground.
TLC chose our native plantings based on our invasive species management plan we created for Irvin last year. Species planted included Pawpaw, Ironwood, Black gum, Chokeberry, and Dogwood. Volunteers dug holes, planted the trees, and then placed a guard around each one to protect it from deer and other critters.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out! The birds, hikers, stream, campers, and of course the newly planted trees will all be thanking you for years to come.