We can thank the Olmsteds for creating beautiful parks around the country. We can’t take their parks for granted, since they require regular care and maintenance.
The National Park Service (NPS) reports that invasive plants are one of the biggest challenges facing the national parks. Those are non-native plants that pose a threat to the healthy growth of native vegetation in our local, state and federal parks. According to NPS: “As of 2017, there were over 1.4 million acres of national park units infested with invasive plants, of which only approximately 43,000 acres are controlled, [and] reduced to a level that can be maintained by park staff.”
That is why Weed Wrangle, in partnership with Olmsted 200, is pleased to announce a special initiative with NPS to remove invasives in national parks connected to the Olmsted firm. We are proud to announce that the first effort took place on April 22 when The Garden Club of Allegheny County partnered with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to hold a Weed Wrangle® at the Nine Mile Watershed in Frick Park. Frick Park is one of Pittsburgh’s largest parks, donated to the city by Henry Clay Frick. Mr. Frick, in fact, commissioned Olmsted Brothers to design the Nine Mile Watershed section of the park, making this a perfect inaugural event for our initiative.
Later this fall, the Rochester Garden Club will take on invasive plants in Seneca Park, one of Rochester’s Olmsted Parks, guided by Mark Quinn, Horticulture Chairman of Highland Park.
As the Olmsted 200 website makes clear, the Olmsteds vigorously promoted the preservation of scenic lands for all Americans. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. wrote the Organic Act that still governs the NPS today, and he and the firm regularly consulted on circulation and management issues in National Parks: Acadia, Yosemite and the National Capital region to name a few. Weed Wrangle plans to honor the Olmsted 200 bicentennial celebration by making a special effort to host events at any park that has an Olmsted connection, party hat included!
What is Weed Wrangle? Weed Wrangle is an initiative of the Garden Club of Nashville, a member of The Garden Club of America. Our purpose is to facilitate hands-on projects between local GCA clubs and land managers on federal, state, local and other significant public lands. We are proud to be an Olmsted 200 Celebration Partner.
Weed Wrangle® is a nationwide structure for organizing non-native, invasive plant removal events. We have helped organize events in 18 states and now we collaborate with the National Park Service to host events across the park system. Park Service professionals host Weed Wrangle events, so it gives volunteers a unique opportunity to learn by participation.
The goal is public awareness. By engaging volunteers and challenging them to learn about the important role of native plants and the destructive nature of invasive plants which know no borders, we believe Weed Wrangle can create a movement that will have the greatest impact on invasive plant populations.
We hope that volunteers will take their new knowledge and enthusiasm to their own homes and communities and continue their efforts to remove invasive plants. If you would like to host a Weed Wrangle event in your park, let us know!