We were awarded a $1000 grant from the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council (SCEPPC) for management and removal of invasive plant species.
We’ll use grant funds to remove invasive plant species including Bradford Pear, Mimosa, Honeysuckle, Wisteria, and Kudzu. More than 100 million acres in the U.S. are impacted by invasive species, yet plenty are still sold. We’re looking at you, Bradford Pear, Mimosa, and English Ivy…
Managing invasive, non-native plant species is challenging to say the least. The restoration of overrun areas is a monumental project that depends on public awareness, ongoing support, and participation. That’s why the SCEPPC’s mission is to support the management of invasive exotic plants in South Carolina’s natural areas.
The SCEPPC not only provides a platform for the exchange of scientific, educational, and technical information, but also offers an annual Community Grants Program (CGP). The CGP is a competitive grant program that offers financial assistance to individuals or organizations restoring sites degraded by non-native invasive plants. Two $1000 grants are available for purchasing equipment and materials each year. This year, both of those grants happen to be for projects in the Upstate.
What are invasives and why are they a threat?
Not all non-native, exotic plants are invasive. In fact, a large number of our agricultural and ornamental plants are non-native. According to SCEPPC, non-native plants become invasive when they escape cultivation, spread rapidly, and aggressively compete with native species. As invasive populations grow, they adapt and multiply too. For this reason, they often reach unmanageable levels, reducing plant biodiversity and destabilizing entire ecosystems.
“The bottom line is you have to kill the roots,” says SCEPPC President, Bill Steele. “Once you get your property under control, it’s also important to talk to your neighbors about their invasives because seeds are going to travel.”
Woodside City Farm plans to remove invasives from their plot in City View by manually removing plants with Pulaski axes and handsaws, and also by applying tested sprays recommended by SCEPPC and Clemson Extension.