Our goal on Saturday, March 18th, 2017, was to reduce invasive plant species such as Chinese Privet and Eastern Red Cedar and to maintain the scenic loop trail at Cove Creek Natural Area. This was a Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalist event, led by Patrick Solomon, a land specialist with Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Following my short presentation on safety, Patrick started the day with a talk on what was expected and how to go about it. We then set out on our task.
We were blessed with a beautiful day, with temperatures reaching nearly 80 degrees.The trail was really very nice, offering a high overlook with Cove Creek far below. We worked our way down the trail to the bottoms, where we could touch the water. The bottoms to me was an enchanted area– green, oh so green, with gullies all about. We noticed flowers every where we looked. All along this trail we pulled, yanked, and dug up Privet. We also cut many young cedar trees. While we all knew we were barely putting a dent in the invasives, by being there we were raising awareness of the problem. And if we go back time and time again, we can get a good start on eradicating unwanted species from this beautiful natural area.Our hike/work day was a good example of why none of us should ever feel that we shouldn’t go to one of our events because we cannot contribute anything. To that I say, “Hogwash!” The more people, the merrier. Fellowship is a big part of what we do, and if you can’t pull up a privet or cut a cedar, that doesn’t matter. We are there to learn and share. So please come and see what a fun and rewarding time we have. See you at the next event!