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Making McCord Park Woods Right for Natives

Invasives Gone Wild

Over the years Betton Hills Neighborhood Association has worked closely with City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation on the management of McCord Park. The City has always supported our Arbor Day activities from planting and maintaining native trees, installing bird and bat houses, and removal of invasive plant species in the park.

Today, December 7th, the City Parks crew is clearing the understory and underbrush from the woodland near the community garden to remove existing invasive plants and to make it easier to remove invasive plants in the future. This forested area will be maintained along with the rest of these north woods by city mowers that mow between the trees three times per year to control invasive species but allow herbaceous plants to grow.

Native Birds and Insects Need Native Plants

Frequently, native plants can’t compete with the invasives.  Songbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators need native plants to flourish, if not survive.  The removal of invasive plants such as tallow trees, nandina, privet, Ligustrum, camphor trees, ardisia, cat’s claw vine, skunk vine, Asian jasmine and others has been an ongoing battle since 2003 when we removed all the tallow trees around the pond. Unfortunately, un-mowed woodlands create refugia for invasive plants to spread and infest the other parts of the park and neighborhood. 

You Can Help and Learn on Arbor Day

n addition, our Arbor Day neighborhood crew will work in this newly brushed area by removing by hand the invasive plants that remain around the trees. We do this from time to time throughout this north woods. If you would like to help, watch for our Arbor Day announcement in January, along with other volunteer work sessions.