Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Restore Forest and Remove Invasive Plants

Volunteers rescued this tree by removing vines from the lower two feet of the trunk, causing the remaining vines to die. (Photo courtesy Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail).

 By Judd Isbell

Alexandria, VA – Every Saturday, The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail (FoMVT) hosts volunteer events to remove invasive vegetation along the trail. English Ivy and bush honeysuckle are the parkway’s most abundant invasive plants. English Ivy damages mature trees by shading out leaves, breaking limbs from excess weight, and retaining moisture that causes rot.

Both English Ivy and bush honeysuckle shade out native tree seedlings, preventing the next generation of forest trees from growing.

Volunteers don’t need any training. FoMVT provides tools, instruction, and experienced volunteer leaders (Weed Warriors). Volunteers often report that they love seeing the tangible difference their efforts make. After three years of invasive vegetation removal, honeysuckle has been replaced in many places by native flowers and plants that provide food to native wildlife.

FoMVT won the 2023 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award from Alexandria’s Environmental Policy Commission and Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew). For more information and to register for volunteer events, visit mountvernontrail.org/events.

ICYMI: Call to ACTION: Volunteer!

Related Articles

Back to top button