Eastwood Riparian: Fighting fallen trees & poison ivy to clear the trail

Eastwood Riparian: Fighting fallen trees & poison ivy to clear the trail

The Eastwood Riparian Committee convened at the park last Sunday with two tasks: reduce poison ivy along the trail and clear a cedar tree which had fallen to block the trail.

Stellar year for poison ivy, especially along the lush Woods & Wildflower and Hidden Meadow Trails. But Eastwood is hosting Michael Parkey’s Wildflower Walk on Sunday April 23, so we had to get the trail ready.

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This mixed ground cover is full of poison ivy! So we killed as much as we could along either side of the woods trail. Even so, walking the trail in sandals is NOT recommended!

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We clipped poison ivy vines that climb the trees.

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And we clipped as many of the taller plants as we could.

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Our resident poison ivy expert, Amy Martin (me!), who literally wrote the book on it — Itchy Business: How to Treat the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash, Prevent Exposure and Eradicate the Plant — recommends that you wear long pants and closed-toe shoes when hiking these trails. Or use a great product called IxyX Pre-contact Lotion, which prevents the allergen from reaching your skin. Washing all exposed skin with Dawn Dishwashing Detergent after being in poison ivy territory is strongly suggested. Remember that your dog can bring home the poison ivy allergen on its fur and spread it around.

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A big cedar tree had fallen across the trail near a small ravine. It took a lot of chainsawing to carve it into pieces! The brush and trunks were wedged into the ravine to slow erosion and provide shelter for wildlife.

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Earlier this year, a big tree on the creek fell and knocked some big limbs of the back of the large tree that’s on the Peavy end of the thicket.

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While the park dept did the bulk of the cleanup, the riparian crew did some finish up and cleared the trail — rough work!

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The riparian crew did more of the ongoing work of pulling out invasive privet/ligustrum with our new Extraxtigator tool.

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Here’s an example of an ex-ligustrum — look at those roots. Magnifique!

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The woods continue to show signs of increasing health. Lots of red oak and Eve’s necklace saplings. We’re seeing more chinquipin oak saplings, quite possibly from acorns scattered by volunteers. This riparian-friendly species should be more prevalent, so it’s great news.

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Thanks to our riparian crew who braved the poison ivy and worked their butts off: Santiago Hinosa, Sam Hudson, Amy Martin, Michael Parkey, Francis Shaner, Scooter Smith, and Mark Yokim.

We really do have a great amount of fun. It’s a terrific way to get fresh air and exercise while creating beauty. Join us! Contact our leader Michael Parkey.

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