Invasive species workshop in March; Forum set to target English ivy growing in popular Berlin park

An invasive species workshop will target English ivy growing in Stephen Decatur Park.

On Saturday, March 2, Berlin resident Lara Mulvaney will host an invasive species workshop and guide attendees through hands-on cleanup action. She wants to remove English ivy from Stephen Decatur Park to protect local trees.

“I love trees,” Mulvaney said. “I moved here from Anne Arundel County where I helped start a weed warriors program. I have a little bit of background that I hope to be able to offer to the town.”

Mulvaney met with the Berlin Parks Commission last week to share her plans for a workshop in the park focusing on invasive species. She said she’d helped with a similar program in Anne Arundel County and since moving to Berlin wanted to share her expertise here. She walks every day in Stephen Decatur Park and noticed the prevalence of invasive species there.

“I thought about proposing a workshop where people can learn to remove for instance English ivy and I have some information I can pass out on the methods,” Mulvaney said.

She said she planned to host the first event March 2 at the park. She will talk about how to identify English ivy and how to remove it.

“I think the idea would be to train/ show people for 30 minutes and then break into teams to go around to trees and see what we could do,” she said.

Mulvaney said if she gets a good response, volunteers could start meeting at town parks regularly to remove invasive species.

“Perhaps the information can carry on to what they can do on their own property,” Mulvaney said.

Kate Patton, another Berlin resident, said Lower Shore Land Trust had resources to share with the public regarding invasive species. She added that another Berlin resident worked on invasive species education for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Town staff said information on the workshop should also be shared with the Berlin Horticultural Advisory Committee.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of interest,” Berlin Parks Commission member Patricia Dufendach said.

Cody Chesser, the town’s public works superintendent, said volunteers should be encouraged to bring tools if they had them but that his department could also supply some.

“I’ll do whatever I can,” he said.

Information on the March 2 event is on the town’s website at Volunteers, who will be required to complete a hold harmless agreement before participating, can pre-register online. Any questions can be emailed to Mulvaney at [email protected].

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.