Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat

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 2020 Honeysuckle Sweep will be the entire month of November. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities and resources below.

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.

 

Honeysuckle Sweep Month Events: November 2020

Please Note:

  • While the Missouri Botanical Garden is not the organizer of any 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.

Special Opportunity:
A New Way to Remove Honeysuckle: Root Docking Training Workshop

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Two Shifts: 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. OR 1:30–4 p.m.
Al Foster Memorial Trail

Join us for a hands-on training workshop on Root Docking, a manual approach to removing invasive honeysuckle. This is an excellent hands-on learning opportunity to learn about the root docking method. Workshop participants will learn about the advantages and benefits of the method, how to properly and safely use the tools needed to conduct root docking, and have the opportunity to practice the method in the field on the Al Foster Memorial Trail. Space is limited to 20 people for each shift. Attendees must be 16+ years of age to participate. Space is limited and registration is required—please register at: rootdocking2020.eventbrite.com. Special thanks to Great Rivers Greenway, the L-A-D Foundation and Open Space Council members for their support!

honeysucklesweep_201811_200w November 7 and 21; 9 a.m.–noon
Creve Coeur Park
Organized by St. Louis Audubon Society
Help us remove the non-native invasive Bush Honeysuckle shrub from the upland forest of the Upper Park at Creve Coeur Park. Bring your favorite lopper or saw. Registration is required. For questions, contact Mitch at stlaudubon@charter.net or (314) 599-7390. Register

November 7; 8:30 a.m.–noon
Paul A. Schroeder Park (359 Old Meramec Station Road, Manchester, MO)
Organized by the City of Manchester
Bring sturdy shoes, bug repellent, water, gloves, loppers and/or a sharp trench spade if you have one. Be prepared to wear a cloth mask all morning. Register by calling the office at (636) 391-6326, x 400.

November 7; 9 a.m.–noon
Rayburn Park (746 Rayburn Ave, St. Louis, MO 63126)
Organized by the City of Crestwood Beautification Committee
Parking is available off of Rayburn Ave or the end of Fox Creek Ct. Participants should meet near the large playground area. Volunteers should bring their own gloves, water bottle, loppers, and hand saws. Register by sending email to beautifycrestwood@gmail.com or call Angie Weber (314) 583-0971.

November 7; 9 a.m.–noon
Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve (631 Willoughby Ln, Collinsville, IL 62234)
Organized by the Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve
Tools will be provided, but you may bring you own hand snips or loppers and work gloves. Registration is not required. Contact BobbieSue Hill with questions: (618) 980-2004 or email bhill@collinsvilleil.org.

November 14; 9 a.m.–noon
Spellman Park (Park is located east of Spellman Avenue north of the intersection of Spellman Ave. and Joshua Drive)
Organized by the City of Crestwood Beautification Committee
Participants should meet near the playground area. Volunteers should bring their own gloves, water bottle, loppers, and hand saws. Register by sending email to beautifycrestwood@gmail.com or call Angie Weber (314) 583-0971.

November 14; 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Woodland Park (Pine Lake Road, Collinsville, IL 62234)
Organized by the Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve
Tools will be provided, but you may bring you own hand snips or loppers and work gloves. Registration is not required. Contact BobbieSue Hill with questions: (618) 980-2004 or email bhill@collinsvilleil.org.

December 5; 10 a.m.–noon
George Winter Park (401 Allen Rd., Fenton, MO 63026)
Organized by the Community Stewardship Alliance
Join us for a volunteer workday to harvest willow stakes at George Winter Park on the morning of Saturday, December 5th. The stakes will then be transported to Lower Meramec Park where they will be planted along the riverbank in the afternoon. You can also learn about an exciting opportunity to become an Ambassador for the Community Stewardship Alliance program which launches in 2021. Check-in and registration is at 9:45a.m. Volunteers will meet at the Goode Shelter at George Winter Park - 401 Allen Rd, Fenton, MO 63026. For questions, contact the Open Space Council at 314-835-9225.
Register

Resources

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

 

Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat 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.