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Becca King

Collage of 3 photos: the woods covered in honeysuckle, a student clearing honeysuckle, and the woods after being cleared of honeysuckle
Collage of 3 photos: the woods covered in honeysuckle, a student clearing honeysuckle, and the woods after being cleared of honeysuckle

Environmental Science Student

Invasive Species Removal in the Miami University Natural Areas

The Miami University Natural Areas are a valuable resource for university students, providing access to over a thousand acres of native Ohio forest to explore and enjoy. However, the value of these natural areas has become increasingly threatened by the presence of invasive species, particularly bush honeysuckle. As the invasive honeysuckle begins to flourish, it crowds out native plants and destabilizes the local ecosystem. When this process continues without resistance, the Ohio forest loses valuable biodiversity, and the land becomes dominated by the honeysuckle.

In the fall of 2016, a coalition of likeminded students and university employees began efforts to take back the Ohio forests, encouraging the growth of native species by removing the invasive honeysuckle. Miami University Natural Areas employee Becca King led groups of volunteers to three honeysuckle-dominated areas, teaching students about invasive species and effective removal strategies.

Thanks to these efforts, these natural areas now include three new areas open to the establishment of native plants. This in itself is a victory for Ohio forests; however, the continued efforts of students, faculty, and community members are crucial for the continuation of this project. Together, we can encourage the growth of viable forests and create a beautiful world.