April 20, 2019     Fishing: 7-10/Clean-Up: 8:15-12       Dolphin Beach     


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Earth Day and Invasive Plant Volunteer Opportunities               


Montclair will be celebrating Earth Day on April 20th, 2019 with a variety of fun activities including trash clean ups, flower planting, and stewardship of common areas.  One of the projects the Landscape and Facilities Management Committee (LFMC) will be spearheading, is the removal of “invasive” vines from MPOA Common Property along Waterway Drive.  

Non-native invasive plants have been introduced into our region and out compete our native plants.  These invasive plant species are usually introduced to an area or region by human activity — intentionally or accidentally.  Invasive plants are known for highly successful reproduction, seed production and dispersal, which gives them a competitive edge over native species, and many have no native organisms such as insects or diseases in their new locations to keep them in check.  Since our native plants have evolved with our wildlife, they provide the food and shelter that our wildlife depends upon. 

The focus of the project will be the removal of two specific species, Japanese Honeysuckle and English Ivy. Colonies of Japanese Honeysuckle and English Ivy are growing uncontrolled in local trees and shrubs.  Japanese Honeysuckle vines can girdle and kill small saplings and form dense mats in tree canopies, shading native vegetation below.  English Ivy is both a climbing vine and a groundcover.  As it climbs trees in search of light, it kills branches by covering leaves and preventing photosynthesis. Its sheer weight makes trees susceptible to blow-over during inclement weather. On the ground, it forms dense monocultures that exclude native plants.  Removal of these vines will either be hand pulling small vines or cutting mature vines close to the ground.  MPOA maintenance staff will follow by applying appropriate herbicide to the cut vines.


The LFMC will be concentrating their efforts in MPOA common area along Waterway Drive.  


The most important element is to correctly identify the vine to be removed.  LFMC will have project leaders working with volunteers to correctly identify the invasive vines.  The method chosen is to cut the vines climbing up trees and shrubs.  If the vine is small and the ground moist, then it may be possible to pull out the root completely.  Ivy that is growing up the bark of a tree cannot be removed, so we will cut the ivy at the base leaving the vines in place, also removing 2 feet of ivy from around the base of the tree. 

The LFMC wants to highlight the problem in the hope that residents will also take action and help curtail the spread of invasive vines. We will never be able to eradicate all the invasive plants, but we can help control the effect they are having on Montclair and homeowner properties. If you can’t join us for this project, we hope that you will remove invasive vines on your property. And remember to keep monitoring for any sprouting.

Online Registration for all available Earth Day Volunteer Positions can be found here: <Kat please insert appropriate link>.  Additional training for invasive plant identification will be provided Saturday April 13th and is open to all Montclair residents, registration is also available through the above link.

We hope to see you at Earth Day!

-Linda Arvin, LFMC, Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener



Invasive Plant Species of Virginia, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Invasive Plants, University of Maryland Extension, Home & Garden Information

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