There aren't many downsides to Spring. It's finally warm enough to go outside for long periods of time and enjoy your favorite outdoor activity, but not so hot that it feels like you're trying to breathe inside a sauna. It's the perfect time of year, in my opinion. But, like anything else, there are cons that go with the pros. One of which is the emergence of those pesky weeds. While most of us only have to deal with common weeds such as dandelions, ragweed, and clover in our yards, gardens, and landscaping, Indiana is home to a number of invasive weed species that can cause issues for the plant life we want to thrive.

Invasive Weed Species Found in Indiana


According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, examples of non-native (i.e. "invasive") plants found in the Hoosier State include the following:

  • Purple loosestrife
  • Japanese honeysuckle
  • Autumn olive
  • Glossy buckthorn
  • Garlic mustard

While some, like the purple loosestrife pictured above, can be pretty like a flower you'd plant in your landscaping, the problem is most of them grow faster than the native plants around them, sucking up all the nutrition from the soil. The problem there being the native plant species provide food and shelter to the other important components of our ecosystem such as animals, fish, and some insects, and if they can't get those two very important necessities, that could impact their ability to survive and create a domino effect across the ecosystem.

Vanderburgh County CISMA Seeking Volunteers to Remove Invasive Weeds

Photo by Lorenzo Ranuzzi on Unsplash
Photo by Lorenzo Ranuzzi on Unsplash

While you and I may head to the store and pick up some type of weed killer to deal with our weeds, nature preserves like Wesselman Woods and the Howell Wetlands can't since the chemicals in those products go all scorched earth and kill anything they touch. So, they get rid of them the old-fashioned way, by yanking them out of the ground with their hands. As you can imagine, with the size of both those areas, that's quite an undertaking for a handful of people which is why they've teamed up with the Vanderburgh County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) to organize a group of "Weed Wrangler" (a.k.a. "volunteers") on the final Saturday of every month from now until October to lend several helping hands.

The monthly pulls will happen on the following days:

  • May 28th
  • June 25th
  • July 30th
  • August 27th
  • September 24th
  • October 29th

Each pulling session is scheduled from 9:00 AM until Noon each month with 40 volunteer slots open for each. This could be a great opportunity for you or someone you know who is looking for community service hours as part of a school, youth, or church group. To register for one of the upcoming days, visit the Wesselman Woods website.

[Source: Wesselman Woods on Facebook]

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