Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Nov 11 2006 - Jones Falls Clean Up/Invasives Removal (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Katie Stofer
Participants:Matt Toerper, Jerry Wright, Tracy Ward Wright, Beth Feeser, Katie Stofer, Kate Nielan

Write Up:
It was a crisp fall morning, not too cold, not too hot, when our gang of six joined the Jones Falls Watershed Association to clear out a glen near Towson University. Some of us removed invasive English Ivy, a beautiful but marauding plant not native to the United States. Yes, many people have this in their lawns and gardens, but it really does more harm than good, taking over entire areas and eventually driving out plants that do belong. It can climb up trees and choke them to death by cutting off supplies of food and water.This particular glen was covered in the stuff; 3 hours of solid work made a dent in a small area, but still massive amounts remained. We cleared ivy off the bottom of several trees and pulled miles of it off the ground, over one thousand pounds by the JFWA count.

This particular glen is being turned into a small arboretum of native Maryland trees. A trail runs through the area currently. This area seems a good candidate for a long-term MOC project; I will be working with the JFWA folks (who try to help on a number of projects throughout the watershed, the area of land that drains into the Jones Falls) and the professor in charge of the arboretum plan to try and make this something that we can do as a regular monthly or seasonal stewardship project. Let me know if you are interested in helping out!

English ivy is definitely a popular plant in Maryland and mid-Atlantic yards and people who know the plant is invasive often say, "But I keep it confined in my yard." You may be able to keep the leaves and plant inside an area, but once the ivy berries, birds and other berry-eaters can carry the seeds elsewhere and the ivy spreads anyway. People may also think that it's okay to have since nurseries sell it. Not so!!! The best idea is to keep it out completely and remove it wherever you see it (though if it's on private property, best to tell the owners about the problem instead!). Otherwise, it has to be pulled out by the roots, which is a big hassle, to say the least, and a losing battle if you don't stay ahead of the stuff. Turns out that quite a bit of Stoney Run Creek, which another MOC group visited later in the day, is also covered in the stuff to the exclusion of almost anything else. Should anything befall that ivy, the banks of the stream will be nearly barren and the soils could easily wash into the waterway, bound for the Chesapeake Bay, which has its own problems with sediment, among other things.

For more info on the JFWA and their monthly volunteer events, see For more info on English ivy and other species that are invasive to Maryland (water chestnut, mute swans, purple loosestrife, nutria, snakehead fish, and many others), visit

-Katie Stofer

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