In a city-wide effort to rescue public parks and green spaces from invasive plants, concerned citizens and non-profits throughout Chattanooga are recruiting volunteers to participate in the nationally recognized Weed Wrangle. Volunteer days vary, depending on site, beginning this Saturday and ending Saturday, April 7.
Supervised by experts in invasive weed management,Weed Wrangle volunteers will remove invasives from affected sites, and will learn best practices for follow-up, including re-planting with natives in removal areas.
“Invasive exotic plants are one of the top five drivers of global biodiversity loss,” said John Evans, lead botanist of Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center. “They can dominate an ecosystem, displacing scores of native plant species. While we may never be able to completely eradicate them from the landscape, we can restore and maintain habitat for native species by managing invasives effectively. The annual Weed Wrangle is a great way to contribute to the effort, and learn how to do it for your own property as well.”
Chattanooga areas affected by invasive plant growth are calling for volunteers to spread awareness about the Weed Wrangle’s mission and to sign up for a volunteer shift at one of the following sites:
• March 3 - Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, Chattanooga Audubon, Chattanooga City and Park Stewards at Renaissance Park and South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, and Tennessee State Parks
• March 17: TVA Big Ridge Small Wild Area
• April 7: Lookout Mountain Garden Club, Lookout Mountain Conservancy, and The Land Trust for Tennessee
To register for the March 3 volunteer opportunities, individuals and groups can go to www.ihelpchattanooga.org/need. For more information, visit www.weedwrangle.org.