Mark Saturday, April 9, on your calendars. It will take the whole village (two villages, actually) of Lookout Mountain, but the Weed Wrangle will result in a notable reduction in invasive plants on our lovely mountain. On that Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers are encouraged to don gardening gloves and grab a pair of clippers and meet at Point Park. Members of all five garden clubs on Lookout Mountain are especially urged to take part.
According to Fran Rittenberry, co-chair of Weed Wrangle along with Gracie Schriner, everyone will start at Point Park and spread out to attack some of the more threatened areas on the mountain. Steven Manning of Invasive Plant Control in Nashville will guide the volunteers in combatting the invasive plants. There is a certain protocol he follows, ensuring the plants not only do not spread, but are killed. No poisons or chemicals will be used at the Weed Wrangle, only tools and a little elbow grease.
Supervised by Mr. Manning, an expert in invasive weed management, community volunteers will learn about exotic pest plants, as well as how to locate and remove them. Typical unwelcome plants are honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica and L. maackii), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei), autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata var. parviflora), English ivy (Hedera helix) and kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata).
Both Lookout Mountain, Ga., and Lookout Mountain, Tenn., along with the Fairyland Club, the Lookout Mountain Golf Club, the Lula Lake Land Trust and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy have been working with the Garden Club of Lookout Mountain on this project. The model for the Weed Wrangle, a Partners for Plants (P4P) Project of the Garden Club of Nashville, has spread to other clubs as a template for combating invasive plants in parks and public lands.
At the Weed Wrangle, volunteers will not only help maintain and beautify compromised areas of Lookout Mountain, but will learn how to eliminate invasive plants in their own yards. Children age 10 and up are encouraged to participate as well.
If you are interested in helping to wrangle the weeds, contact Gracie Schriner by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (423) 667-3470.
Later in the day, from 1-4 p.m., the Lookout Mountain Conservancy will be tackling weeds at 1813 Old Wauhatchie Pike at the foot of the mountain. No tools are required, and hot dogs and Coke will be served at the end of the work session. Find out more on LMC's website.
But remember, this project will definitely take a village. Hopefully the entire village will turn out!