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Wicomico works to remove invasive plant at Leonard’s Mill Park
SALISBURY, Md. - Wicomico County is in the process of removing invasive Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) from Leonard’s Mill Park in Salisbury.
This project is part of an invasive species initiative by the Natural Resources Conservation Advisory Committee (NRCAC) of Wicomico County, in partnership with Wicomico County and the Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT). The initiative was developed to address concerns regarding the impact of invasive species on forestry, farming and landscapes. Wicomico County supported the project from its inception, budgeting $25,000 to kick-start the initiative in 2019, which began with restoration at Pemberton Park.
Knotweed is mostly seen along the creek at Leonard’s Mill Park, limiting access to the water and causing erosion along the bank. Herbicide will be applied to the knotweed in order to restore the native habitat. While the herbicide application is underway, affected areas will be off-limits to the public. These areas will be marked with signage. In the long-term, the project will improve visitor experience by making the creek more accessible and increasing wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
About Japanese Knotweed
Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, herbaceous shrub with broad leaves and white flower-spiked clusters. First introduced in the late 1800s, knotweed thrives in disturbed areas and along stream banks. Once established, knotweed can spread rapidly, creating a blanket of growth that threatens native plant communities.
About Invasive Species
Invasive species are defined as non-native species that are likely to cause both economic and environmental harm. Homeowners can help prevent the spread of invasive species by becoming familiar with species of concern, removing existing invasive plants and avoiding the introduction of these plants into their properties.
In addition to the knotweed removal at Leonard’s Mill Park, the NRCAC is developing a program to educate Wicomico County residents about early detection and response to invasive plants in an effort to minimize the amount of infestations on the Lower Shore.
The NRCAC is working in partnership with Wicomico County and LSLT on the formation of the Lower Eastern Shore Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LES-PRISM). The regional co-op aims to bring together the lower four counties, key stakeholders and partners to identify gaps in management and implementation of invasive species control, and provide outreach and education to landowners and managers seeking removal.
Questions or reports of invasive species infestation can be directed to Victoria Spice, invasive species coordinator at the Lower Shore Land Trust, at 443-234-5587 or email@example.com.