Greening Greenfield invites everyone to join them for a ‘clipping party’ to start the process of
getting rid of invasive burning bush around Poets Seat Tower and Highland Park on any of the following afternoons, November 19, 25, and 26, at 1:30 pm. To be repeated: December 2 and December 3rd!
Why should we worry about some plants? Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home fame
asks this question in his latest book for kids called Natures Best Hope, when he asks “Can one
‘invader’ really ruin a whole ecosystem?”
His answer is YES! “What makes an invader such a problem is that it doesn’t stay where it is put.
It spreads and spreads and spreads and makes it impossible for native plants to grow. So, yes,
one invader really can ruin a whole ecosystem.” Think Kudzu in the South.
As for burning bush (Euonymus alatus), the focus of Greening Greenfield’s effort, it, like many
other plants, was brought here by the horticulture trade, because it has beautiful fall color, and
it is easy to grow. It may be eye candy for us and the birds, but like candy it does not have the
nutrients the birds need. Additionally, it spreads in everywhere because the birds poop the
seeds and plant this shrub throughout our forests and fields, displacing native plants! Many
plants were brought here by European colonists, or by mistake as seeds in the earth carried in
boats for ballast. While there are 2600 non-native plants in New England, fortunately only
about 100 plants have been listed invasive by the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE.)
“I find cutting back invasives very satisfying, and a great way to spend time with folks
outdoors.” says Nancy Hazard, organizer of the Greening Greenfield clipping party. “My
motivation is to keep nature as healthy as possible, save trilliums and other wildflowers, and
help restore our climate and increase biodiversity.”
Over the past two years, Greening Greenfield members worked to get permission from the
Greenfield Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department to remove
plants in these two areas. Karro Frost, from the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
(NHESP) of MA Wildlife, came twice to walk the area with them to ensure there they would not disturb
any rare and endangered species. While not endangered, in Highland Park, there are a lot of wild
trilliums and other spring ephemeral flowers that could be shaded out by these invasive shrubs.
To register and get details about each day such as tools to bring, go to Greening Greenfield’s
website www.GreeningGreenfieldMA.org and hit “contact,” or send an email directly to