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Citizens in Action!

From a balcony container garden to a multi-acre woodland, patches and parcels of our everyday urban, suburban and rural communities can come to life in energizing, restorative ways. And throughout St. Louis, local experts and resources are at the ready to help! Explore the list of project possibilities below and expert resources to help you get started.


Native landscaping

Get Involved - Local Opportunities to Take Action

BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a growing network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region who share a stake in improving quality of life through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban and rural communities. The BiodiversCity website contains frequently updated information on current events and volunteer opportunities, many of which are related to invasive species control.

Operation Wild Lands (OWLS) is a community-based partnership coordinated by the Open Space Council that prepares citizen volunteers of all ages to restore and maintain public lands throughout the St. Louis region.  The Open Space Council coordinates many volunteer opportunities related to invasive species control.

Bring Conservation Home is a program of the St. Louis Audubon Society that provides advice for landscaping with native plant species, the removal of invasive plant species, water conservation on the urban landscape, and other stewardship practices that promote healthy habitat for birds, native wildlife and people.

Look for classes and workshops for working with native plants as an alternative to invasives:


Invasive species eradication

Girls holding eradicated invasivesTop invasives and how to identify:

Landscaping Alternatives to Honeysuckle

There are numerous beautiful native and non-invasive alternatives for bush honeysuckle in your landscape. Although non-invasive exotics do not actively harm our environment, they also don’t provide the same benefits as native plants for butterflies, pollinators, and the numerous insects on which birds depend for their diet. Below are some resources for alternatives to bush honeysuckle, but the possibilities are endless. To learn more about landscaping with native plants, visit the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, participate in a Native Plant School event, or schedule a home visit with an expert through the Bring Conservation Home program of the Saint Louis Audubon Society.

This Visual Guide developed by the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Kemper Center of Home Gardening provides information on several native alternatives to bush honeysuckle.

Curse of the Bush Honeysuckles: This booklet from the Missouri Department of Conservation provides suggestions for native shrubs that provide attractive and environmentally friendly alternatives in the landscape.

This brochure from the Midwest Invasive Plant Network provides useful suggestions for non-invasive alternatives to some of the worst invasive species in the Midwest, including bush honeysuckle.

GrowNative! works to increase awareness of native plants and their effective use in urban, suburban, and rural developed landscapes. Visit their website to learn about landscaping with native plants.

Look for classes and workshops for working with native plants as an alternative to invasives:

Pollinator gardening

Butterfly on coneflower General:

Project plans:


Additional Bush Honeysuckle Resources

Native Alternatives to Bush Honeysuckle and other Invasive Shrubs: A Visual Guide developed by MBG’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

Bush Honeysuckles Invasive Species Fact Sheet: A concise fact sheet from the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

Curse of the Bush Honeysuckles: This booklet from the Missouri Department of Conservation provides information for the identification and control bush honeysuckles, in addition to suggestions for native shrubs that provide attractive and environmentally friendly alternatives in the landscape.

Stop A Magnificent Missouri campaign to halt the spread of bush honeysuckle

Wildlife homes and feeders

Bluebird and nesting box Birds:

Bush Honeysuckle Literature Cited

(1) Luken, J. O., and J. W. Thieret. 1996. Amur honeysuckle, Its fall from grace: Lessons from the introduction and spread of a shrub species may guide future plant introductions. BioScience 46:18-24.

(2) Collier, M. H., J. L. Vankat, and M. R. Hughes. 2002. Diminished plant richness and abundance below Lonicera maackii, an invasive shrub. The American Midland Naturalist 147:60-71.

(3) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2008. Changes in forest structure and species composition following invasion by a non-indigenous shrub, Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 135:245-259.

(4) Miller, K. E., and D. L. Gorchov. 2004. The invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, reduces growth and fecundity of perennial forest herbs. Oecologia 139:359-375.

(5) Gorchov, D., and D. Trisel. 2003. Competitive effects of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder (Caprifoliaceae), on the growth and survival of native tree seedlings. Plant Ecology 166:13-24.

(6) Boyce, R. L. 2009. Invasive Shrubs and Forest Tree Regeneration. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 28:152-217.

(7) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2007. A dendro-ecological study of forest overstory productivity following the invasion of the non-indigenous shrub Lonicera maackii. Applied Vegetation Science 10:3-14.

(8) Missouri Department of Conservation. Missouri Forest Facts. ( Accessed online, February 2, 2016.

(9) Dorning, M., and D. Cipollini. 2006. Leaf and root extracts of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, inhibit seed germination of three herbs with no autotoxic effects. Plant Ecology 184:287-296.

(10) Cipollini, D., R. Stevenson, S. Enright, A. Eyles, and P. Bonello. 2008. Phenolic Metabolites in Leaves of the Invasive Shrub, Lonicera maackii, and Their Potential Phytotoxic and Anti-Herbivore Effects. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:144-152.

(11) McEwan, R. W., L. G. Arthur-Paratley, L. K. Rieske, and M. A. Arthur. 2010. A multi-assay comparison of seed germination inhibition by Lonicera maackii and co-occurring native shrubs. Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants 205:475-483.

(12) Bauer, J., S. Shannon, R. Stoops, and H. Reynolds. 2012. Context dependency of the allelopathic effects of Lonicera maackii on seed germination. Plant Ecology 213:1907-1916.

(13) Fargen, C., S. M. Emery, and M. M. Carreiro. 2015. Influence of Lonicera maackii Invasion on Leaf Litter Decomposition and Macroinvertebrate Communities in an Urban Stream. Natural Areas Journal 35:392-403.

(14) Watling, J. I., C. R. Hickman, and J. L. Orrock. 2011. Invasive shrub alters native forest amphibian communities. Biological Conservation 144:2597-2601.

(15) Bartuszevige, A., and D. Gorchov. 2006. Avian Seed Dispersal of an Invasive Shrub. Biological Invasions 8:1013-1022.

(16) Smith, S. B., S. A. DeSando, and T. Pagano. 2013. The Value of Native and Invasive Fruit-Bearing Shrubs for Migrating Songbirds. Northeastern Naturalist 20:171-184.

(17) Schmidt, K. A., and C. J. Whelan. 1999. Effects of Exotic Lonicera and Rhamnus on Songbird Nest Predation. Conservation Biology 13:1502-1506.

(18) Rodewald, A., D. Shustack, and L. Hitchcock. 2010. Exotic shrubs as ephemeral ecological traps for nesting birds. Biological Invasions 12:33-39.

(19) Allan, B. F., H. P. Dutra, L. S. Goessling, K. Barnett, J. M. Chase, R. J. Marquis, G. Pang, G. A. Storch, R. E. Thach, and J. L. Orrock. 2010. Invasive honeysuckle eradication reduces tick-borne disease risk by altering host dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:18523-18527.

(20) Gardner, A. M., B. F. Allan, L. A. Frisbie, and E. J. Muturi. 2015. Asymmetric effects of native and exotic invasive shrubs on ecology of the West Nile virus vector Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasite Vectors 8:329.

(21) US Forest Service. Amur Honeysuckle. ( Accessed online, February 2, 2016.

(22) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2004. Restoration of a Forest Understory After the Removal of an Invasive Shrub, Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). Restoration Ecology 12:154-165.

(23) Rathfon, R., and K. Ruble. 2007. Herbicide treatments for controlling invasive bush honeysuckle in a mature hardwood forest in West-Central Indiana. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 187-197.

(24) Langeland, K. A., and L. A. Gettys. 2006. Safe Use of Glyphosate-Containing Products in Aquatic and Upland Natural Areas. Tech. Rep. SS-AGR-104. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida. IFAS Extension.

(25) Kline, V. 1981. Control of honeysuckle and buckthorn in oak forests. Restoration and Management Notes 1:18.

(26) Schulz, K. E., J. Wright, and S. Ashbaker. 2012. Comparison of Invasive Shrub Honeysuckle Eradication Tactics for Amateurs: Stump Treatment versus Regrowth Spraying of Lonicera maackii. Restoration Ecology 20:788-793.

Edible gardening

Boy examining growing peppersVegetables:


Urban agriculture:


Rain gardenGuides:


Trees / woodlands / forests

Benefits and care:

Urban trees:

Prairies / meadows

Butterfly on rattlesnake master in a meadow

Wetlands / ponds


Riparian corridors

Soil health and composting

Composted vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds and more

Service opportunities