Urban Ecology Center weeeding out invasive species

Posted at 8:09 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 21:10:11-04

The Urban Ecology Center wants to get people of all ages excited about nature. One of the ways they do that is by teaching people how to take care of the land.

On various days during the week volunteers team up with land stewards to tackle the invasive species that are taking over the native species.

"The plant community we're trying to restore here is prairie and a little bit of oak savanna, and both of those there's less than one percent left," said Joel Springsteen, one of three land stewards at the Urban Ecology Center.

Springsteen educates volunteers about invasive species, "(Reed canary grass) spreads really aggressively and the diversity of plants within is greatly reduced."

Caring for the land is a big task, but volunteers like Katie Halmo are up for it.

"Like a lot of people I have the small goal of saving the world," she said.

Growing up Halmo went to MPS and took regular field trips to the Urban Ecology Center. That early exposure got her interested in environmental science.

"So I really want to expose as many people to that even in a city like this," she said.

Springsteen said restoring the land takes a lot of time and effort, but it's good for wildlife and it's good for the community, "I'm excited to restore it especially in the city where people don't often see these remnant areas."

The prairie land is something hikers will see during HKE MKE. It's a 2.5 mile scenic hike that benefits the Urban Ecology Center.

The hike is Sunday, September 17th. For registration information click here.

TODAY'S TMJ4 is a proud sponsor of HKE MKE.