More than 40k invasive plants removed from Summit Park by Ohio River Foundation, volunteers, and employees; Ecological efforts to continue in 2022
The Ohio River Foundation (ORF), Summit Park employees, and community volunteers worked together last year to remove more than 40,000 invasive plants at Summit Park, and plan to continue to expand that work this year.
An invasive plant species is a non-native plant that has a tendency to spread and cause damage to the local environment by taking up space and inhibiting the growth of native species in the area. Their proliferation also causes changes to soil chemistry, creates soil erosion, and leads to loss of wildlife habitats and poor water quality.
In 2021, the team went to work removing a total of 40,500 invasive plants in the prairie, bioswale, and forested areas of the park. Additionally, ORF held four community events in which volunteers contributed 100 hours, planted 24 trees, and removed Amur Honeysuckle.
“This work is essential to curbing the spread of invasive plant populations in greater Cincinnati. With the progress of on-site conservation and restoration work, Summit Park serves as a valuable ecological resource for the community to enjoy, and a place where native plant species, pollinators, and wildlife can flourish," said ORF Executive Director Rich Cogen.
The invasive species removal work has dramatically decreased harmful plant populations at the park, including Yellow Sweetclover, White Sweetclover, Amur Honeysuckle, Canada Thistle, Common Teasel, Poison Hemlock, and Callery Pear.
“What the volunteers and staff members were able to accomplish in 2021 is truly remarkable,” said Blue Ash Parks and Recreation Director Brian Kruse. “The work of the Ohio River Foundation is crucial to keeping Summit Park beautiful, natural, and ecologically sound. We are thankful to the volunteers that are making sure Summit Park will continue to thrive and be enjoyed by guests well into the future.”
In 2022, Ohio River Foundation will continue managing the invasive species populations at Summit Park, hosting volunteer events, and training park staff. The goal of the habitat restoration work is to build a more climate change resilient habitat for the birds, animals, and insects that reside in Summit Park.