By Nina Mantegna & Alexandria Moore, OSC summer interns
This past Monday on June 18th, 2018, members of the Open Space Council headed out into O’Fallon Park in order to participate in a fun, educational Park Ecological Restoration Workshop about invasive plant species in Missouri. Working with members of the St. Louis Parks Association, Forestry, and the Missouri Department of Conservation we got a chance to learn more about all the ways to treat and maintain open spaces that are threatened by invasive species. Mike Saxton, a Restoration Ecology Specialist at Shaw Nature Reserve, educated us on the identification of invasive species in the St. Louis Region. Saxton demonstrated proper invasive species removal in the wild by showing the proper usage of tools like the handsaw and loppers to cut down the invasives, then the immediate application of herbicide using the weed wand or squeeze bottle.
In addition to learning about invasives, participants also learned about tree identification and mapping, with help from members of Missouri’s Department of Conservation (MDC). Foresters from the MDC discussed the urban forestry techniques, and how urban forestry has a large impact on our regular lives and the environment around us. Members of MDC then led us to demonstrate just exactly the ways in which one can work to maintain these urban forestry areas, and included education on tree identification and demonstrated the ways in which they record data on trees in parks.
Learning about invasive species identification and removal helped to prepare our staff for their upcoming trip to the Wells Goodfellow Neighborhood on June 20th, 21st, and 22nd.