Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Threatened by Buckthorn?

Those pretty green bushes with the pretty red berries out in our woods? A threat to the forest and its natural habitats? Yes, says the DNR, "Buckthorn forms an impenetrable layer of vegetation and shades out other plants that would grow on the forest floor. Buckthorn degrades wildlife habitats and lacks natural controls such as insects or disease that would curb its growth."

Friends from Camp Friendship were the first to alert us to the invasive plants, which by now are well established along the Sacred Path leading to Sabbath Pond at Clare's Well. We would like to pass this alert on to you. If you also have these plants around the edges of your property, you might want to contact your department of natural resources to learn what you can do about it.

The first thing Clare's Well staff did about the buckthorn was to accept the offer of a local youth hockey team to come on a Saturday morning and spend their October community service hours with us. With the help of borrowed brush wrenches, 15 young hockey players rooted out a good number of the problem plants. Several adults including Richard Wagner and his chain saw assisted the boys. This is a huge task! As Sister Carolyn Law says, "If you pull 100 a day, you might be rid of them in 5 years." We intend to keep at it for the sake of our precious forest.


Theresa Johnson said...

Just spent the weekend with you and was pleased to get a small course on Buckthorn before lunch! Now we can help make the burden of a 100 per day just a little less next time we come! Thank you Jan and ALL!

Bob said...

Ironically, the buckthorn is the home of the asian beetle, that pesky bug that is everywhere before winter sets in

Carolyn Law said...

Jan, Thanks for writing about the buckthorn. As you know I just learned about them even though I had heard about them for at least a few years. There are buck thorn everywhere it seems. I was just out in the area around Ottertail and found them there too. Thanks for helping more people become aware. The flyer from the DNR is very helpful. Sr. Carolyn Law