In late winter 2016 Jane Phillips, an East Campus resident and member of the East Campus Neighborhood Association (ECNA), initiated an invasive plant removal project.
She began a series of emails to East Campus residents about invasive plant species, especially bush honeysuckle. She pointed out the drawbacks of many non-native plants and extolled the virtues of native Missouri plants for yards and parks.
There are several volunteer groups that work to control invasive plants on public land only to have those parks and trails re-infested by the adjoining neighborhood. Invasive plant control on private land was an unmet need. Jane communicated with staff from Columbia Parks and Recreation and from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
Jane collaborated with MDC on a grant proposal for a professional contractor to remove invasive plants in the less accessible steep and rocky forests on private land in the neighborhood. ECNA is partnering with MDC by using volunteer teams on easier areas and by soliciting matching funds. ECNA has donated $1,000 for the first year and $400 per year for three years to be used for materials and equipment.
MDC is looking at ECNA’s invasive plant removal project as a pilot project that could be used as a model for other urban neighborhoods in Columbia and across the state.
The City of Columbia applauds Janes continuous efforts to restore our beautiful city.