by: DAVID F. ASHTON - PP&R Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes pauses for a moment, as she works with Chemeketa Community College student volunteers Samantha Rowland, Jake Kaufman, and Phillip Kuzmenko, in the ongoing cleanup and improvement efforts at Ardenwalds Tideman Johnson Park. In preparation for planting new native trees and shrubs during the winter, the “Friends of Tideman Johnson Park” volunteers gathered on November 11 to continuing their quest to eliminate invasive plant species from the Ardenwald park.

“There’s good news to report!” exclaimed the group’s leader, Marianne Colgrove. “Because of our efforts over the years, it’s difficult to find English ivy here. Our eradication efforts have been very successful.”

But, in their examination of the park, they found it was entirely ivy-free. The volunteers found the odd patch of new ivy seedlings here and there, courtesy of the birds who deposit them in the park, along with ready-made fertilizer. But, of the lack of heavy ivy patches, Colgrove exclaimed, “It’s a sign of real progress, here along this part of Johnson Creek!”

The group will continue its efforts to rip out that and other invasive weeds, and plants like teasel – a tall prickly Eurasian plant with spiny purple flower heads – as well as the hardy and resilient Himalayan blackberry plants.

“We’re well on our way to getting the park ready to begin replanting with the area with native plants,” Colgrove said. “We’ll take January off, but we’ll be back here on February 1, to continue our planting efforts.”

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