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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
South Tampa News

Invasive species of plants removed at clean-up day


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Tampa Tribune -

SULPHUR SPRINGS - About 35 volunteers used shovels, pruners, saws and a lot of muscles recently to remove invasive plant species from land along the Hillsborough River.

Members of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club and other environmental supporters spent a recent Saturday clearing plants and removing trash from the river's edge at Mann-Wagnon Park, 1101 E. River Cove, as well as property behind Community Stepping Stones.

"We were presented with a grant from Community Stepping Stones to remove the invasive habitant and restoration of the area," said organization chairwoman Marcia Biggs. "This is the first in a series of workdays."

The club hopes to replace some of the plants with native plants, she said.

One part of the project was clearing a culvert that ran from the street to the river, which was overgrown and blocked by debris.

"This will allow it to flow to the river," Biggs said.

Sierra Club member Gail Parsons oversaw the project. She said they were particularly trying to trim or remove camphor trees.

"They are a Class I invasive plant. They take over and out-compete the natives," Parsons said.

Included amongst the volunteers were several high school students, including Shelby Evans, of Town 'n Country, a senior at Jefferson High School. She plans to study biology at the University of Florida.

"I joined the Sierra Club and thought it would be nice to help," she said as she pushed a cart of plant trimmings.

For information about the Sierra Club and its activities, see florida.sierra club.org/tampabay.

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