Exotic plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - sounds real nice and pretty doesn't it? Well it's not. Non-native plants in the Smokies are a big problem and the Great Smoky Mountains national park needs your help riding this protected biosphere of these monstrous botanical nightmares!
At one time these plants were brought into what is now the Great Smoky Mountains national park by both settlers and later on the Civilian Conservation Corp in a an effort to beautify and control erosion.
Now these unwanted pests such as kudzu, garlic mustard and Japanese Honeysuckle are near the top of the Park's 'Most Wanted List.' They outgrow native species of plants and change the habitat for other plants and animals in the Great Smoky Mountains national park.
Join us in removing these exotic plants on Saturday, February 21 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as part of the 10th annual Tennessee Invasive Weed Awareness Week which is organized by the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Here you will be taught how to identify two of these exotic plant species that are taking over large areas of the GSM National Park. One you know what you are looking for, you will be sent out to remove these non native plants.
Our target pests on this outing will be the Honeysuckle vine which grows rapidly forming a dense blanket over native shrubs and small trees and the Garlic mustard which is a ground cover that quickly takes over the shady areas choking out native wildflowers and grasses.
It's something to love the park as many of do but there is a very special feeling in getting your hands dirty and giving back to a place that offers you a lifetime of peace, serenity, educational opportunities and fun. We need your help!
Meet us at the Big Creek picnic area before 10 am on Saturday the 21st. Bring suitable clothes, your lunch and work gloves to make the work and cleanup easier on your hands. For more information you can contact Kristine Johnson at (865) 436-1707 or email her at Kristine_Johnson@nps.gov.
Help us here in the Great Smoky Mountains national park and you will have a day to remember and we will be eternally grateful.