Musk Thistle. 6/20/15 (Kevin Kane)
Several dedicated volunteers have been helping to control musk
thistles at the park. More keep popping up as the summer progresses.
Today, I rode around the park with the park superintendent, Joshua
Thompson, and identified several places where spot mowing could help
control three other invasive plants, wild parsnip, Canada thistle, and
yellow sweet clover. All three species can be reduced if they are
prevented from going to seed. Right now is the time to mow while they
are in flower. Mowing later will only spread the seed. Joshua is well
aware of the benefits of milkweeds for Monarch butterflies and he will
instruct the mower to avoid cutting common, swamp, and butterfly
milkweed, all of which are now in bloom.
The city is also preparing the damaged areas near the savanna for
seeding with a prairie mix that includes several savanna species of
grasses and forbs.
We are gradually establishing a good relationship with the park staff. If anyone has any suggestions please contact me.
The Conservation Corps will be back in late July to work two more days on removing Siberian Elm.