Columbus Ecological Restoration Program (CERP)
Program Coordinator - Karl Hoessle(Horticulture Specialist)
Phone: (614) 645-2863
What is CERP?
CERP's mission it to restore native ecosystems on public land through partnership, education, and volunteerism. A step in this process is to remove the invasive plant species. Invasive species is defined by the USDA as a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. One of our biggest concerns in Columbus comes from non-native honeysuckle bushes. Most of which is the Amur honeysuckle variety.
Honeysuckle grows quickly, and will prevent sunlight from reaching plants that are attempting to grow underneath it. Its growing season starts earlier, and ends later than its locally native competitors. This gives it even more of an edge. Honeysuckle is also tough to kill. When a bush is cut and removed the stump can quickly sprout multiple times, and you can end up with more of a problem than you started with.
Why is it here? Non-native honeysuckle bushes were brought to the United States because they looked pretty, were thought to work as habitat, and thought to help control erosion.
What can you do to help?
Educate yourself before you buy plant material,and learn more about the invasive potential of your purchase.
Learn to identify local invasive plants, and remove them from your yard and garden.
Properly dispose of any plant materials that have been uprooted.
Volunteer! We hold volunteer events all over Columbus (on most Saturdays) from April until October. Check our list of planned event dates and locations below. Additionally, feel free to contact the program coordinator, Karl Hoessle, at (614) 645-2863 if you would like to establish a project date of your own.