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Controlling Invasives and Non-Natives at the Preserve

This time of the year all of the invasive and non-native plant species may be clearly seen taking over the landscapes of many natural areas across the country.  Even though the 1816 Historic Shupe Homestead Wildlife Preserve at the New Indian Ridge Museum is home to numerous native plant life, there are some non-native and invasive species that have begun to make their way onto the property.  In an effort to hinder them from taking a strong hold and choking out native plants, which are necessary for biodiversity and nutrients for native birds and animals, our staff is taking initiatives to get these plant species under control before it is impossible to do so.  Some of the plants on the list that we have been fighting, include: Japanese Honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard, Canada Thistle, Multiflora Rose, Grape vines, and Japanese Knotweed.  We recently located a small section of Japanese Knotweed in the Beaver Creek floodplain on our preserve, and were able to eradicate that, for the most part.  We have undertaken a multi-year program (which starts in late April-early June of each year) for the removal of Garlic Mustard, and this initiative has been extremely successful.  The number of plants removed has been greatly reduced as each year passes, allowing for a diverse number of native plants to move into and inhabit the area.  Currently, our removal program for Canada Thistle that has begun this year (starts yearly in early June-mid-June), and largely because of the wet weather, we are seeing a large yield of this invasive this year.  However, in spots where trees have continued to mature, they are shading out the spots for the Canada Thistle and doing a fine job of crowding it out.