For Immediate Release
February 19, 2016
Contact: Byron Humphry
Park Maintenance SuperintendentParks and Recreation Department
Volunteers Committed to Removal of Invasive Plant Species at Lake Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Volunteers and City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation staff have been actively removing the invasive plant species, Chinese privet, from the north shore of Lake Fayetteville Park. Removal efforts were initiated by volunteer groups such as the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership and the Fayetteville Chain Gang Disc Golf Club. In 2015, volunteers donated 1,563 hours of service removing invasive species and replacing with native plants throughout the City’s parks and trails.
Due to its ability to successfully compete with and displace native vegetation, Chinese privet has modified the ecosystem along Lake Fayetteville’s northern shore. Volunteers with the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership and the Fayetteville Chain Gang Disc Golf Club have worked with City staff to eradicate the species from the Environmental Study Center and the North Shore Disc Golf Course – replacing the Chinese privet with native plants. The latest efforts by Parks and Recreation staff to remove Chinese privet can be seen on the north shore Lake Fayetteville Park from the marina east to the disc golf course. (See attached before and after photographs.)
According to the Department of Agriculture, Chinese privet, introduced into the United States in 1852 for use as an ornamental shrub, has escaped cultivation and is now naturalized throughout the southeastern United States. Chinese privet plants mature rapidly and are prolific seed producers; they also reproduce by means of root suckers. Chinese privet is very difficult to eradicate because of its reproduction capacity. It is one of 18 invasive plant species identified by City Council in the Invasive Plant Ordinance (#5820) as restricted from being used in new developments requiring a landscape review.
Complete eradication of Chinese privet is a very laborious process that requires patience and perseverance. Due to its reproduction capabilities, ongoing efforts are needed to remove new seedlings and sprouts that are certain to occur, even after the initial removal of the plant. Those interested in helping remove Chinese privet from Lake Fayetteville or other invasive plants from parks and trails, are encouraged to contact Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator Kristina Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about volunteering and a list of invasive plants with native plant alternatives visit this webpage.