There will be a work session to remove exotic invasive plants and learn about cedar barren ecology at a small unique area in the heart of Oak Ridge. The Oak Ridge Cedar Barren, a state natural area, will be the focus of the event on Saturday, March 1. The public is invited to attend.
Located next to Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, this rare barren was spared from development in 1988 through efforts spearheaded by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, sponsor of this event, and was subsequently registered as a Tennessee Natural Area. Maintenance of the barren is a joint project of TCWP, the City of Oak Ridge, and the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas.
One of a few cedar barrens in East Tennessee, this sensitive area is threatened by invasive pest plants such as Chinese lespedeza, leather-leaf viburnum, Chinese privet, autumn olive, mimosa, Nepal grass, multiflora rose, and other woody plants that shade out the sun-loving prairie plants.
Volunteers should arrive in the Jefferson Middle School Parking lot at 9 a.m. with sturdy shoes or boots, loppers, gloves, and water. TCWP will provide other hand tools and other supplies. Volunteers will be treated to a pizza lunch following the event around noon. The work should be done with everything by 1 p.m.
TCWP, a member of Community Shares, is an Oak Ridge-based environmental advocacy group with a keen interest in pure drinking water, clean air, and the Cumberland Plateau. For more information, call or email TCWP Executive Director Sandra Goss by phone at (865) 583-3987 or [email protected].