Free entertainment Sunday, March 26: Invasive Species Follies

Join KDHX for a live recording of Earthworms with Jean Ponzi and free entertainment.

Event: Invasive Species Follies
Bush Honeysuckle, Mosquitoes and Us!
Where: The Stage at KDHX
3524 Washington Avenue, mid-town St. Louis
When: Sunday, March 26, 2017
-Family Matinee 1:00 p.m.
-Adult Show 7:00 p.m.
Food: Magnolia Café will be open for pre-show lunch/dinner/treats
Hosted by: Jean Ponzi of KDHX Earthworms
Cost is free. To reserve tickets:

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Honeysuckle Sweep Week is here: March 4 – 19, 2017

woman dragging brush

Fran Glass, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter Board Secretary, drags honeysuckle carcasses to the wood chipper.

Invasive bush honeysuckle chokes out native species including trees, shrubs, and ground-layer plants because of multiple factors including its rapid spread, density, early shading, depletion of the soil, and suspected toxins (1). Not only that but it is difficult to remove because of its thick and gnarly wood, which creates that massive density.

Area conservation organizations join together this week to remove as much invasive bush honeysuckle as possible and to bring community awareness to the detrimental effects of these highly invasive plants.

The Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter Board recently approved increasing participation in this event beginning in the fall or next March possibly by providing native plant seedlings, education opportunities, and planting events. Besa Schweitzer, our Webmaster, is on the Honeysuckle Sweep Week planning committee and is our coordinator with that group and the other participating organizations.

Note: Registration is required for each event listed below. To register and for more information, visit Missouri Botanical Garden’s BiodiverseCity St. Louis, which hosts the webpage for these activities.

The main event:
March 6 – 10 from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(two- and three-hour shifts available)
Free Kirkwood Park from Invasive Bush Honeysuckle

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Special Edition – Honeysuckle Sweep update

Bill Hoss with a chainsaw and bush honeysuckle

Bill Hoss with bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

As you can see from the photographs, bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is thick and gnarly. Those characteristics along with being an aggressive plant are why it takes an army of volunteers to make a dent in the huge invasive population of this plant.

Some St. Louis Wild Ones members are attending events this week during the Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat to help make that dent.

Members Marsha Gebhardt, president, Penny Holtzmann, treasurer, and Bill Hoss went to Deer Creek Park in Webster Groves on Saturday, March 5. Penny said she had a fun day doing away with the honeysuckle.

There’s still time to get involved.
For remaining events and to register:
Missouri Botanical Garden (MoBot)

Blog post about Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat

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St. Louis Audubon spring stewardship projects

By Mitch Leachman
Executive Director

Map of 2160 Creve Coeur Mill Road

2160 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Map Data ©2016 Google

We had another fantastic year made possible by thousands of hours of service given by hundreds of volunteers just like you! We’re better off because of your service and hope to see you again this spring for one of these projects!

Tuesday, March 8th at Creve Coeur Park. Honeysuckle removal
Help us continue our multi-year project partnership to create prairie, woodland, and pollinator gardens! All ages welcome, but those under 18 must have parental/adult supervision at all times. Bring your favorite lopper or saw. The work site is just south of Page/364 near the Creve Coeur Lakehouse restaurant. We will meet in the south lot at the Lakehouse, 2160 Creve Coeur Mill Road, St. Louis, MO 63146.

Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat—March 5th thru 13th
For additional opportunities around the St. Louis region to remove invasive bush honeysuckle and help restore our natural areas.  For the most recent location list and to RSVP, visit BiodiverseCity St. Louis.

Saturday, March 19th Confluence Trash Bash. Watershed Cleanup
All ages welcome. For all the details, and to register

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Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat March 5-13

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, St. Louis Wild Ones

White and orange flowers on bush honeysuckle

Bush honeysuckle in bloom

St. Louis Wild Ones is listed as a partner in the upcoming, first ever, Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat. We encourage our membership and followers to participate in one or more of the planned bush honeysuckle removal projects between March 5 and March 13. These events will be learning opportunities, and will make you feel good about your contribution to our region’s native landscapes.

For a great overview and how to get involved, read the following article by Besa Schweitzer, which will be published in the Native Plant School newsletter on March 1st. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for this excellent newsletter by emailing Besa Schweitzer ( Here’s an example: The News from Native Plant School February 2016

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Honeysuckle removal at Forest Park – Nov. 7

group of people among shrubs

Volunteers with implements of destruction spread out into the honeysuckle. Photo by Forest Park Forever.

By Peter VanLinn

What: Forest Park Forever honeysuckle removal and preparations for the Kennedy Forest Restoration Project

When: Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Who: Individuals, small volunteer groups and families with children over the age of 12. Children under the age of 18 must be supervised by an adult at all times.

For more information and to register

Note: Some Wild Ones members plan to attend. Look for familiar faces at registration.

St. Louis Audubon fall stewardship projects

By Mitch Leachman

Work crew at an Audubon Society work dayWe had another fantastic year made possible by thousands of hours of service given by hundreds of volunteers just like you! We’re better off because of your service and hope to see you again this fall for one of these projects!

Saturday, October 17th at Creve Coeur Park – Honeysuckle kill
We continue working with our partners on the Mallard Lake Prairie Project by removing additional bush honeysuckle from around the lake, in advance of future plantings of Missouri native shrubs and trees. All necessary tools/equipment and lunch provided.

Saturday, October 17th at McKelvey Woods Park – Restoration day
All ages welcome. We continue our partnership with the City of Maryland Heights! We may be clearing for a new trail, planting or removing honeysuckle. All necessary tools provided.

Saturday, October 24th at Creve Coeur Park – Tree planting
Bring a shovel if you have one, but we should have plenty of tools on-hand.

Get more details on these projects. Volunteers are requested to register for all projects by providing their name, contact information and number attending to or (314) 599-7390.

EAB now in St. Louis County

By Marcia Myers

Emerald Ash Borer damage Photo by Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University,

Emerald Ash Borer damage – photo by Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University, Bugwood Images

Not surprisingly, officials confirmed that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) resides in St. Louis County. Previously, the beetle was found in St. Charles County and the City of St. Louis. As time goes by, the beetles are expected to kill all untreated ash trees in the infested areas.

As you may know,  EAB was discovered in Michigan in 2002. Before that, scientists didn’t even know what was killing the trees. The beetle is not a problem in its native East Asian habitat. However, in the United States, EAB’s voracious appetite has killed millions of trees in 27 states. The larvae disrupt the flow of water and nutrients by eating the inner bark and then the tree dies. Unfortunately, people have helped the beetles spread by moving firewood.

A recent article in the New York Times online summarizes two studies trying to understand how East Asian ash trees repel the beetles naturally by using chemicals. Are the North American ash trees (1) not producing high enough levels of chemicals, (2) not using chemicals in the right balance, and/or (3) not making the chemicals fast enough? 

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Honeysuckle removal at Emmenegger Nature Park

By Alan Hopefl

White and orange flowers on bush honeysuckle

Blooming honeysuckle is attractive, but unhealthy for other plants and animals

The Kirkwood Parks Department has made significant progress removing bush honeysuckle from Emmenegger Nature Park, but there’s still more to do and they’d like your help.

What: Bush honeysuckle removal
When: Saturday, May 2nd, 9 AM to noon
Where: Emmenegger Nature Park, 11991 Stoneywood Dr, 63122 (Google map); meet at the kiosk by the creek.
Who: Family-friendly event; persons under 18 must have parental signature on waiver
What to bring: Work gloves, eye protection, and saw/loppers. The Kirkwood Parks Department will have water, light snacks, and other tools as needed.
Questions? Contact Kirkwood Parks Horticulturist Pete Laufersweiler at 314-984-6981 or

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First Mallard Lake honeysuckle removal was a big success!

By Mitch Leachman, Executive Director St. Louis Audubon Society

Students cutting a large honeysuckle bush

A big one! Fortunately, most of the honeysuckle was much smaller.

On a cool, overcast March 14th, 20 volunteers met at the Creve Coeur Lakehouse at Creve Coeur Park for the first official workday and milestone of the Mallard Lake Prairie Project. The group included Wild Ones and St. Louis Audubon volunteers, Missouri Master Naturalists and staff from St. Louis County Parks and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, all key partners in the project. A number of students from DeSmet Jesuit and Parkway North High Schools also came out. Many thanks to everyone who participated!

This first phase is focused on the removal of the non-native invasive bush honeysuckle from the west and north sides of Mallard Lake where native savanna and woodland will be restored starting this fall. The March 14th crew cleared approximately 1.5 acres of honeysuckle and callery pear, another nasty plant that is spreading rapidly across the park and around the region, especially along our highways.

Our last honeysuckle workday of the season is THIS Saturday, April 11. Hope you can join us!