Invasive Species on the Wells Branch Greenbelt?
We have a plan for that!
Invasive plants are non-natives that grow and reproduce rapidly. They quickly establish themselves over large areas and decrease biodiversity by threatening the survival of native plants. This has taken place in some areas in Wells Branch like it has in just about every greenbelt or park in Texas. The fight against invasive species costs the US $137 billion annually.
The major offenders in Wells Branch are:
• Glossy Privet – Ligustrum lucidum
• Chinaberry tree – Melia azedarach
• Heavenly Bamboo – Nandina domestica
The Wells Branch MUD is working on a comprehensive management plan for removal of the invasives on our greenbelts and will concentrate on the worst “infestation areas”. First, we will have a team pulling the smaller specimens out of the ground, root and all. Secondly, this team will cut down some of the larger invasive trees and plants and replant a Texas native species in the close vicinity where irrigation is available. The plants will be identified or marked for removal by landscape experts. Thirdly, to make this project successful in the long run, we will start implementing invasive management as a maintenance function into the future, as a routine task like mowing grass.
Restoring areas where invasive plants are over taking the natives will:
• Restore the local “food web” supporting everything from the pollinators to the little fox that lives by the pond
• Help to protect the watershed
• Maintain the unique natural heritage of the area
• Increase biodiversity
• Restore populations of plants that evolved here, Texas tough and drought hardy
• Expand the plantings of some of our Texas natives that have been pushed to the “edges”
The initial projects to remove smaller invasive plants and cut down the larger invasive trees and shrubs will begin the first week in February. The areas where this work will take place include the Greenbelt from the Wildlife Viewing Area to the Bridge before the North Meadow, The Greenbelt North of WB Parkway Bridge to the Trail Bridge near Wells Port and the Disc Golf Course Area.
You will see more education in the coming weeks on this subject as the MUD goes forward with this effort to make our great greenbelt a healthier environment. Please call 512-251-9814 if you have questions about invasive species management or this project and we will have someone contact you.
For more information, including maps & photos, please visit: http://www.wellsbranchmud.com/general_information/invasive-species-on-the-wells-branch-greenbelt.html