Urban Wilderness
March 5, 2016


Green is not always good. Tennessee landscapes are encountering growing threats from some non-native plants. Invasive plants introduced in this region decades ago for agricultural or landscaping purposes are now a serious concern for our parks, our public green spaces, our own backyards. More and more, experts warn, this city’s beautiful native trees, plants and wildlife are losing the fight against these aggressive plants, vines, trees and insects that consume nutrients, disrupt the ecological balance and disfigure the outdoor world where Knoxvillians hike, bike, picnic, ride horses and mountain bikes, or just relax. Some invasive plants are quite beautiful with colorful flowers and pleasing scents. But make no mistake: They are quietly lethal. If left unchecked, future generations might never glimpse the forest floor, as alien undergrowth shrouds and chokes trees large and small.


Inspired by national and international efforts now underway, Weed Wrangles across the state and Weed Wrangle Knoxville represent a fresh new push to stem the tide of biological pollution in our area. The goal is two-fold: restoration and preservation. Organizers seek to raise awareness of the “green scourge” before more of our native plants lose the fight for the light and nutrients they require to survive. The Knoxville Garden Club, a member of The Garden Club of America, and other planners are working hard to pull in other local groups to establish a corps of organized resistance to this blight on our environment. The Legacy Parks Foundation, Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, Lakeshore Park, the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council and the City of Knoxville are just a few of the partners now backing Weed Wrangle Knoxville.


First of all, please consider participating in the first-ever Weed Wrangle Knoxville event, set for Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 9 a.m. to noon in at least four locations in Knoxville. These include Ijams Nature Park; The Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum; Lakeshore Park and the Urban Wilderness. For more information, please visit www.weedwrangle.org or email steve@ipc-inc.org. You can also make a difference by removing any invasive plants that appear on your property; this prevents their inevitable spread to other yards and public spaces. Always try to landscape with native plants and avoid the purchase of potentially invasive species sold by some nurseries. A number of the traits that make plants highly desirable ornamentals also make them ideal weeds. Finally, help us spread the word about the broadening fight against invasive plants. Knowledge, after all, is power.


Iams Nature CenterMore Info and Directions
Knoxville Botanical GardenMore Info and Directions
Lakeshore Park (city of Knoxville)More Info and Directions
Wood Property Park (managed by the Legacy Parks Knoxville)More Info and Directions

Weed Wrangle Knoxville Urban Wilderness (Legacy Parks Foundation), TN - Knoxville GC - Nancy J. Montgomery, Horticulture Chairman, Jackie Congleton, Conservation Chairman and Callie Cullom, President. Knoxville GC had its kickoff community meeting on October 7 for their Weed Wrangle, featuring speaker Steve Manning who also will be the professional invasive plant specialist for their Weed Wrangle next year. Members are working to finalize the specific sites for the event on March 5 and have enlisted support from their Legacy Parks partner and also are collaborating with the University of Tennessee (for volunteers). The invasives which are being spotlighted for removal are: honeysuckle (Loniceri maackii and L. japonica), winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei) and Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense).

Knoxville Garden Club   

The Knoxville Garden Club was founded in 1923 and became a member of The Garden Club of America in 1932. From the beginning, the club has devoted itself to flowers, gardening, conservation, scholarship and stewardship of the natural world. The purposes of the club are those of The Garden Club of America: to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications, and to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.

Blount Mansion 1 Plant Sale Plant Sale Blount Mansion 2

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