Natalie Chavez, Eagle-Garden City Rotary and member of the Wetland Peace Preserve steering committee Geard up in warm coats and armed with garden tools, about 20 Rotarians and friends strode off to combat false indigo on Saturday, Jan 23. The Wetland Peace Preserve has areas infested with this invasive shrub that need to be cleared for native foliage to thrive.
False indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) has become a major problem in the lower Boise River watershed. It grows in dense thickets and provides little nutrition to native herbivores and insects. Plus, it pushes out beneficial native riparian species like willow and cottonwood. Because removal efforts haven't always been successful, a local study is underway on different methods for removing invasive false indigo.
Following instructions from Kristin Gnojewski, community volunteer specialist for the Boise Department of Parks and Recreation, volunteers cut off twigs with seed pods and bagged them carefully to avoid spreading the seeds. Then they cut the tall branches into shorter lengths and loaded them onto traps. Once the traps were full, they were dragged to a slash pile and dumped for chipping by city staff later. In the spring, seedlings that emerge may be treated with a targeted herbicide or manually removed. And no doubt, Rotarians will have several more opportunities to battle false indigo in the preserve!
And efforts are moving forward to have the Wetland Peace Preserve incorporated into the Boise parks system. The next step is presenting the master plan for public review, followed by public hearing, an approval meeting with Parks and Recreation managers, and finally a city council meeting. These events, likely to be scheduled for February or March, are being coordinated by John Lodal, WPP advisory committee chair; Toby Norton, manager of parks resource planning for the city of Boise; and Trademark, a Boise design and fabrication studio.
Thanks to all who showed up wit clippers and loppers this cold January morning! You can see these people hard work in an online album, courtesy of Todd Fischer of the Rotary Club of Boise.
If you're interested in volunteer opportunities at the Wetland Peace Preserve in the next couple of months, check out these dates.