NO Bush HoneysuckleBiodiverseCity St. Louis Network partners join together to spotlight the harmful impact of bush honeysuckle on our region. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) degrades our beautiful woodlands, neighborhoods, backyards, trails, and stream banks into impenetrable thickets lacking ecological, economic, or recreational value. Beginning in 2016, organizations have hosted biannual public events and volunteer workdays throughout the months of March and November. Volunteers remove bush honeysuckle and replant with native species to improve public spaces for wildlife habitat, recreation, and enjoyment.

In 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(s).

Fall 2023 Honeysuckle Sweep events are listed below.

Do you need tools for your community event? Fill out this form, and we will let you know if we can accommodate.

Do you need native trees and shrubs to help restore the honeysuckle area? Free trees and shrubs are available for public and nonprofit plantings in Missouri through Project Communitree. The Fall 2023 applications are open! Learn more and apply

Project Goals:

  • Remove bush honeysuckle to promote the establishment of native plant species
  • Raise public awareness about the need for bush honeysuckle removal and the benefits of replacing invasive plant species with native plant species
  • Connect corridors and greenspaces throughout the St. Louis region to improve habitat for wildlife

How can bush honeysuckle threaten our local landscapes?

Bush honeysuckle can rapidly develop into dense infestations that:

  • Displace native and other desirable plants from our gardens and natural areas
  • Reduce habitat for wildlife such as butterflies, which depend upon native plants
  • Threaten the future of our woodlands, as mature trees die without replacement
  • Offer poor nutritional value for birds relative to fruits of native shrubs
  • Increase tick abundance and exposure to tick borne illness dues to higher deer concentration
  • Increase survival of mosquito larvae due to changes in water chemistry

What should our forests, streams and roadways look like without bush honeysuckle choking them?

Rock Bridge State Park
Rock Bridge State Park. Photo by Erick Bohle.
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.

 

Fall 2023 Honeysuckle Sweep Events

Please Note:

  • While the Missouri Botanical Garden is not the organizer of all of the events listed below, we strongly encourage all volunteers to follow CDC recommended guidelines for safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19 when participating in Honeysuckle Sweep events.
  • 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.

 

past participants

October 28, 8–11 a.m.
Honeysuckle Round-up at 2300 Upper Bottom Court
St. Charles, Missouri 63303
Organized by St. Charles Parks
Register
Contact: jbugh@sccmo.org

October 28, 8–10:45 a.m.
Make a Difference Day at Lorraine Davis Park
Organized by City of Webster Groves
Bring: reusable water bottle
Register

Every Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Shaw Nature Reserve
Organized by Missouri Botanical Garden
New events will be listed as they are scheduled
Register
Contact: msaxton@mobot.org

Every Saturday, 9 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Shaw Nature Reserve
Organized by Missouri Botanical Garden
New events will be listed as they are scheduled
Register
Contact: msaxton@mobot.org

November 4, 8–10 a.m.
Honeysuckle Hack at Deer Creek Preserve
Organized by City of Ladue
Bring: refillable water bottle and pruning tool
To register contact publicworks@cityofladue-mo.gov

November 4, 9 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Castlewood State Park 
Organized by Open Space STL
Bring: A filled bottle of water (we recommend reusable!), bug spray, sunscreen, your own work gloves and tools if you prefer (otherwise they will be provided)
Register
Contact: (314) 835-9225 or volunteer@openspacestl.org

November 4, 9 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Lower Meramec Park
Organized by Open Space STL
Bring: A filled bottle of water (we recommend reusable!), bug spray, sunscreen, your own work gloves and tools if you prefer (otherwise they will be provided)
Register
Contact: (314) 835-9225 or volunteer@openspacestl.org 

November 4, 8:30 a.m.
Honeysuckle Hack at Paul Schroeder Park
Organized by Manchester Parks
To register contact rpate@manchestermo.gov

November 11, 9 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Little Creve Coeur Ecological Area (LCCEA)
Organized by Open Space STL
Bring: A filled bottle of water (we recommend reusable!), bug spray, sunscreen, your own work gloves and tools if you prefer (otherwise they will be provided)
Register
Contact: (314) 835-9225 or volunteer@openspacestl.org

November 18, 8:30 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at Creve Coeur Lake Soccer Park
Organized by Open Space STL
Bring: A filled bottle of water (we recommend reusable!), bug spray, sunscreen, your own work gloves and tools if you prefer (otherwise they will be provided)
Register
Contact: (314) 835-9225 or volunteer@openspacestl.org

November 18, 9 a.m.–noon
Honeysuckle Hack at St. Vincent Park
Organized by Open Space STL
Bring: A filled bottle of water (we recommend reusable!), bug spray, sunscreen, your own work gloves and tools if you prefer (otherwise they will be provided)
Register
Contact: (314) 835-9225 or volunteer@openspacestl.org

November 18, 9–11 a.m.
Honeysuckle Hack at Fee Fee Greenway
Organized by Great Rivers Greenway
Bring: reusable water bottle
Register
Contact: bblackburn@grgstl.org

 

Resources

Bush honeysuckle Bush Honeysuckle Removal, Control, Alternatives and MORE: