This one-day, statewide volunteer effort will help rescue our public parks and green spaces from invasive species that, unstopped, will destroy trees, shrubs and any and all native plants nearby. Look around you. Our area is being consumed by kudzu, honeysuckle vine, porcelain berry, English ivy, euonymus and privet, and these invasive plants are choking out our native plants.
The Lookout Mountain Conservancy’s Rockmont Park is reason enough to volunteer a few hours. The vista overlooks the Tennessee River and the city, and there are fascinating remains of the former elegant homes in this early Chattanooga neighborhood. The stone “refrigerator” beckons one to peep in and imagine the thick rock house full of eggs and vegetables and milk, and ancient stone steps beg one to walk them, or even take a little rest on one.
The Howard interns have taken an area unrecognizable because of decades of invasive undergrowth and trash, and restored it to its former beauty. Volunteering for one morning, we might not match the Howard interns in everything they have accomplished – they have rescued quite a few garage-size boulders that were completely covered with ivy – but we can certainly match their dedication to combatting invasives and reclaiming a jewel in our city’s crown.
Wear your gardening cloves, bring clippers if you have them, and prepare yourself for a very rewarding day.