Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat

NO Bush HoneysuckleIn an effort to energize the greater St. Louis region around improving habitat for our native plants and animals, area conservation organizations join together to spotlight invasive bush honeysuckle and the need to remove it so that large swaths of land can become productive areas for native habitat, recreation and enjoyment. To that end, organizations will host public events and volunteer removal days during Honeysuckle Sweep Month.

SPRING 2020 Honeysuckle Sweep will be the entire month of March.

Goals 

  • Raise public awareness about the need for bush honeysuckle removal and the benefits to wildlife and humans of replanting with native plants. Utilize creative events as well as informative volunteer removals opportunities.
  • Remove bush honeysuckle.
 
Rock Bridge State Park
Rock Bridge State Park. Photo by Erick Bohle.

What should our forests, streams and roadways look like without bush honeysuckle choking them?
Eric Bohle of Columbia, Missouri has photographed infested and restored sites around Missouri and in St. Louis. His photo to the left shows an area in Rock Bridge State Park that does not yet have a bush honeysuckle infestation.

Visit parks and natural areas where acreage cleared of bush honeysuckle is being restored with native plants after recent removal events! You’ll find ideas to replace the honeysuckle “privacy hedge” on your property with native bushes, trees and flowers. Two such areas to visit are the Forest Park – Kennedy Woods Savannah in the City of St. Louis and Emmenegger Nature Park in Kirkwood.

 

Honeysuckle Sweep Month Events: February & March 2020

Please Note:

  • All events are volunteer honeysuckle removal unless otherwise noted.
  • Registration is often requested—check each description.
  • Please bring sturdy shoes, water bottle and gloves (if you have them).
  • Each organization will have additional information on hand to help ensure the safety of participants.

Willow Staking Events:

Volunteers pause in their honeysuckle clearing work

February 28; 9 a.m.–noon
George Winter Park (401 Allen Rd, Fenton, MO 63026; meet at the Goode Shelter)
Organized by the Open Space Council
Volunteers will engage in willow harvesting activities including the cutting of native willow stakes, sharpening the tips of the stakes, and preparing the stakes for transport to their planting location. These willows will be planted the following day at Lower Meramec Park to help fight erosion on the riverbank.Register

February 29; 9 a.m.–noon
Lower Meramec Park (off 6841 Holzer Park Rd, St. Louis, MO 63128; meet in parking lot)
Organized by the Open Space Council
Volunteers will plant willow stakes directly into the riverbank using wooden or rubber mallets. These native willows will help stabilize the section of riverbank by providing a natural root system to fight erosion. Register

Honeysuckle Removal Events:

February 29; 8:30 a.m.–noon
Mighty Rivers Center (2709 Shackelford Rd., Florissant, MO 63031; we will have directional signs off Shackelford directing to the meeting location on the property)
Organized by The Nature Conservancy
Participants will need sturdy shoes, water bottle, work gloves (if you have them). We will provide tools and additional work gloves. For more information, contact Kristy Stoyer at kstoyer@tnc.org or (636) 346-6941. Register

Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursdays during March; 9 a.m.–noon Saturdays and Mondays and 8 a.m.–noon on Thursdays
Shaw Nature Reserve (307 Pinetum Loop Rd., Gray Summit, MO 63039)
Organized by Shaw Nature Reserve.
For more information, contact Mike Saxton at (314) 577-9535 or mike.saxton@mobot.org.
Register

March 7; 8:30–11:30 a.m.
Shady Creek Nature Sanctuary (112 W Kirkham Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119)
Organized by City of Webster Groves
For more information, contact Yvonne Steingruby at steingrubyy@webstergroves.org or (314) 963-5457.

March 14; 8:30 a.m.–noon
Creve Coeur Park
Organized by St. Louis Audubon Society
Bring your favorite lopper or saw. (We return to the “upper park” to continue clearing the plant from the upland forest. Use this address in your device: 13219 Streetcar Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. It's the address for Go Ape, but continue past it, past a ball field, tennis court and restroom. Park after the playground in the 1-way loop drive. We will meet at the Scout Shelter which will be on your right.) For questions, contact Mitch at stlaudubon@charter.net or (314) 599-7390. Register

March 27; 9 a.m.–noon
The Nature Institute (2213 S. Levis Ln, Godfrey, IL 62035)
We will hand pull and cut bush honeysuckle. We can provide hand saws and loppers, but feel free to bring your own gloves and tools (no power tools). Contact Eric Wright with any questions at ewright@thenatureinstitute.org.

March 27; 9 a.m.–noon
Heartland Prairie (4550 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002)
We will hand pull and cut bush honeysuckle. We can provide hand saws and loppers, but feel free to bring your own gloves and tools (no power tools). Contact Eric Wright with any questions at ewright@thenatureinstitute.org.

March 28; 8:30 a.m.–noon
Creve Coeur Park
Organized by St. Louis Audubon Society
Bring your favorite lopper or saw. (We return to the “upper park” to continue clearing the plant from the upland forest. Use this address in your device: 13219 Streetcar Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. It's the address for Go Ape, but continue past it, past a ball field, tennis court and restroom. Park after the playground in the 1-way loop drive. We will meet at the Scout Shelter which will be on your right.) For questions, contact Mitch at stlaudubon@charter.net or (314) 599-7390. Register

March 28; 9 a.m.–noon
Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve (631 Willoughby Lane, Collinsville, IL 62234; meet at the Pavilion)
Organized by Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve
To register email bhill@collinsvilleil.org or just show up.

March 28; 9–11 a.m.
Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom along the Signal Hill Bike Trail (22 Signal Park Lane, Belleville, IL 62223)
Organized by Heartlands Conservancy
Please contact Sarah Vogt, Conservation Manager, for questions or inquiries. (618) 566-4451 x 23 or sarah.vogt@heartlandsconservancy.org
Register

April 4; 9 a.m.–noon
Central Park Pool Parking Lot (16365 Lydia Hill Dr., Chesterfield, MO 63017)
Organized by Chesterfield Parks, Recreation & Art/ Chesterfield Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee
Bring your own gloves and loppers or small brunch cutting tools if you have them (no power tools please). To register, email Ann-Marie AStogoski@chesterfield.mo.us or call (636) 812-9502.

Resources

Bush honeysuckle Invasive bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) degrades our neighborhoods, backyards, trails, woodlands, fields and stream banks into impenetrable thickets lacking ecological, economic or recreational value.

Learn more and find out how you can help:

Bush Honeysuckle History, Removal, Control, Alternatives and MORE:
Missouri Botanical Garden's
Homeowner Guide to Invasive
Bush Honeysuckle

Root-docking Tutorial for Bush Honeysuckle Removal:
Watch video

Invasive Species General Information:
Missouri Botanical Garden's
Invasive Species Information Pages

Get Involved in Citizen Science!
Science Teachers of Missouri
Bush Honeysuckle Project

 

Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitats Recap

2019 Sweep Results:

80 Events
34
Locations
952
Volunteers
3028

Volunteer Hours
61.25
Acres Cleared
     
2018 Sweep Results:

39 Events
 18
Locations
722
Volunteers
 2154
Volunteer Hours
 35.75
Acres Cleared
     
2017 Sweep Results:

 28 Events
 22
Locations
800
Volunteers
2190
Volunteer Hours
 20
Acres Cleared
     
2016 Sweep Results:

 25   Events/Locations
 613

Volunteers
 14
Acres Cleared
     

“I appreciate the leadership that was shown on this project. Although we regularly fight honeysuckle and other invasive species, this year we did it with more enthusiasm and with more volunteers. Many thanks to both of you and to Mo Bot for pushing this project.”

—Tim Wood, Sustainability Coordinator, The College School

A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region

Supported by Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri Logo

 


Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat sponsorship support by
the Trio Foundation of St. Louis.