Cleveland chiefs chop and lop invasive crops

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - Danae Wolfe, an interpretive park ranger at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio, shows volunteers from Eaton Corporation and the Coast Guard's Cleveland Area Chiefs Mess which invasive plant species they would be removing from the Terra Vista Natural Study Area, May 10, 2012. The volunteers spent the afternoon removing large patches of autumn olive, honeysuckle and multiflora rose that were encroaching on the native plants. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi

A dozen Coast Guard chief petty officers from the Cleveland Area Chiefs Mess gave up a couple hours of their day on May 10 to clear invasive plant species from an area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio.

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - Chief Petty Officers Rachel Washko and Aaron Jenkins, with the 9th Coast Guard District in Cleveland clear invasive plants at the Terra Vista Natural Study Area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio, May 10, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi

Although they only cleared one area of the 33,000-acre plant and wildlife refuge, they left with a sense of pride for helping the park rangers ensure the prosperity of the native plants. Most also left with a couple scrapes and thorn pricks.

Chief Petty Officer Rachel Washko, of the 9th Coast Guard District, coordinated the community service project, enlisting the help of other members of the Cleveland Area Chiefs Mess.

After they received instruction from park rangers, they were given hand saws and loppers to clear large patches of autumn olive, honeysuckle and multiflora rose plants from the Terra Vista Natural Study Area.

“Volunteers are helping us to restore the natural ecosystem at Terra Vista and other sites throughout the park,” said Danae Wolfe, interpretive park ranger at the park.

“We hope that, through restoration initiatives and prevention of the spread of invasive plants, that our ecosystems will be healthier and more supportive of native wildlife,” she said.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park ranks fifth among national parks for volunteerism, according to park rangers.  It is also the 10th most visited national park in the country, with 2.5 million visitors per year.

 

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - Flanked by park rangers, members of the Coast Guard's Cleveland Area Chiefs Mess stop for a picture before turning in their loppers and hand saws, following an afternoon of clearing invasive plants at the Terra Vista Natural Study Area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio, May 10, 2012. About a dozen members of the chiefs mess volunteered their time for the community service project to remove large patches of autumn olive, honeysuckle and multiflora rose that were encroaching on the native plants. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sarah Madden

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