A perfect day for buckthorn cutting

Piling up the buckthorn at another Harbert Park workday

Sunshine and cool weather: a perfect day for cutting buckthorn. Working together, 13 volunteers made another large dent in the wall of invasive trees on the south end of Harbert Park on Sunday afternoon, picking up trash while they were at it. Yellow ribbons mark the small trees that will remain and now have more space to grow under the canopy of towering cottonwoods. These include native cherries and hackberries, both used heavily by birds. City crews will be out soon to chip the long piles of buckthorn lining the path and blow the chips back into the woods to decay and add organic matter to the heavy clay typical of the channel banks.  Over the summer, volunteers will monitor these newly open areas, continuing to cut back weedy and invasive saplings and watching for any native plants to emerge. A mix of small trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses will be planted in the area this fall.

On Saturday, April 7, from 10:00 to noon, volunteers will be joined by a group from Quest4Earth in the final invasive-clearing workday of the season. Neighbors and volunteers are welcome to join in or just drop by.

— Wendy Pollock