This past weekend, the Best Pick Reports team participated in Trees Atlanta’s community outreach project at Brownwood Park, located on the East side of Atlanta. Trees Atlanta is a nonprofit organization focused on protecting Atlanta’s urban forest. The organization was founded in 1985 with a mission to improve Atlanta’s tree canopy. Today, Trees Atlanta is responsible for having planted over 95,000 trees, conserving green space, and educating Atlanta residents on the best methods for preserving our urban forest.

Year round, Trees Atlanta hosts a weekly Saturday project in different neighborhoods around Atlanta.  Our project involved removing invasive plants from the park.

Ivasive plantsInvasive plants are any species that are not native to the ecosystem and that cause harm to the surrounding environment or human health. Because invasive species are foreign to the environment they’re in, it’s easy for them to grow unchecked due to a lack of natural predators, parasites, or competitors to repress their growth. As you can imagine, an overpopulation of non-native plants can hinder the growth of native plants, which is why removing these plants is vital to the health of the ecosystem.

Three Invasive plant speviesThree invasive plant species dominate in Atlanta: Kudzu, English Ivy, and Chinese Privet. Brownwood Park is covered in English Ivy, so our group focused on removing English Ivy from both the ground and the trees. We were able to remove a large amount of ivy from the park, providing Trees Atlanta with a great starting point for their future plans for the park.

We had a great timeWe had a great time removing English Ivy from the park—it was rewarding watching the piles of foliage grow taller and taller. Even more rewarding and unexpected were the thanks given by people from the neighborhood who happened to walk through the park while we were working.

I would definitely recommendI would definitely recommend spending one or more Saturday mornings with Trees Atlanta if you enjoy nature and getting your hands dirty. Not only will you help keep Atlanta’s green space beautiful, but it’s also a great way to work up an appetite for brunch!

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