Earth Day volunteers needed to clear Wilcox Park of invasive species

Wilcox Park in Milford

Wilcox Park in Milford

Milford Earth Day Volunteers are needed for Milford Earth Day 2014, Saturday, May 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at Wilcox Park.

Preserving the woodland diversity at Wilcox Park for today and for future generations is vital to protecting this public open space that is also a State Wildlife refuge designated in 1931, city officials said.

Non-native invasive species are overwhelming the 105-year-old Wilcox Park.

Volunteers will be celebrating Milford Earth Day this year by cutting non-native invasive plants that are damaging the native woodland community. They also will be building habitat brush piles and planting native plants and flowers.

“Invasive threats are not a new problem in Milford,” said Steve Johnson, the city’s open space coordinator. “In 1797, Milford voted to make it lawful to ‘dig up and destroy’ European Barberry bushes because our early townspeople understood the damage that the barberry bushes were causing to their grain crops.”

Volunteers will learn why these non-native invaders are the biggest threat to the conservation of open spaces today. Working in teams, people of all ages can lend a hand to make a difference at Wilcox Park.

“It is hoped that participants can take their new knowledge back to their own homes and neighborhoods and work to eliminate non-native invasive species they find growing there,” Johnson said.

For Information contact Johnson at milfordearthday.org or 203-878-7812 or e-mail: stevenjohnson@ci.milford.ct.us.

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