This Land Trust Stops Invasive Plants in Their Tracks

In the battle between native and invasive plants, new corridor preserves are a point for the primordial.

Illustration by Jen Leem-Bruggen

What difference does it make to remove invasive plants? Get yourself out to a Western Wildlife Corridor preserve and find out. The nonprofit land trust has been parceling together land to create a natural corridor for wildlife in the Ohio River Valley from Mill Creek to the Indiana state line since 1992. Still growing, it has amassed about 300 acres and has been dedicated to removing invasive species since the early 2000s.

“You can protect a place from development by buying it, but it still isn’t a really good place for plants and animals to prosper,” says Tim Sisson, former president and now chairman of the WWC’s Land Stewardship Committee.

Invasive plants, such as honeysuckle, can be so pervasive that they create a monoculture, Sisson says. To combat that, the organization, alongside a small army of volunteers, removes invasive plants, such as lesser celandine—which spreads out like a carpet over a forest floor—and winter creeper, a vine that covers the ground and climbs up trees.

The result: On the WWC’s properties—including Bender Mountain and Kirby Nature Preserve—you can literally see the honeysuckle ending at the property line. In the spring, the preserves burst with color as indigenous wildflowers return.


Facebook Comments