Thursday, July 18, 2013

Overcome by "Syn" & Volunteers

If National Parks are meant to “conserve the scenery . . . and the wild life therein and . . . leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations,” why do we trample into its boundaries and pull out bags full of plants?  We are committing a ‘syn’ by  removing syngonium, an exotic and invasive plant that threatens the wild life in which we are trying to protect.

In acknowledgement of International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB), Everglades National Park hosted a volunteer event at Shark Valley on Sunday, May 19, 2013. IDB aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Syngonium grows rapidly and competes with native vegetation for sunlight, impacting native growth.

During this active awareness event, six volunteers hand pulled syngonium from the Otter Cave trail. The volunteers ranged from 72 years old to college students. The college students are part of Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus’ Youth for Environmental Sustainability (Y.E.S.) Club. The main goal is to bring students together and take part in the environment to maintain a sustainable earth. Members of Y.E.S. Club have volunteered frequently, as individuals and as a group.
At the end of the day, the 6 volunteers gathered enough syngonium to completely fill seven 33 gallon trash bags, and a few were bursting at the seams! The season for removing it is October to May.  Weather conditions and mosquito populations during summer months cause too many issues and lack of comfort in the field. This was our last event of the season.

If you are interested in removing syngonium next fall, or other exotic plants, sign up for an event or contact us with your availability. Groups and individuals are welcome!

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