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Floodplain Mitigation

In 2013, Davey, working under the direction of Clark County Commissioners, eradicated invasive plant species as part of the floodplain mitigation effort within a two-acre section of floodplain along the Buck Creek Bikeway between Buck Creek and the Indiana & Ohio Railway in the city of Springfield, Ohio.

The mitigation area consisted of a manmade, terraced floodplain and included a small wetland area and a narrow hiking trail. Since construction was finalized several years ago, the overall health of the area has declined due to the heavy weed pressure from surrounding stands of aggressive Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) and L. maackii (bush honeysuckle). The two-acre parcel was a study area for Wittenberg University biology and ecology students; therefore, all work was performed with minimal to no impact on the site.

Within a two-week period, all honeysuckle in the two-acre mitigation area, with stem sizes ranging from pencil-width to 6–8 inches, had been harvested. The remaining stumps were cut below four inches and were treated with a 20%, aquatic-approved herbicide. The honeysuckle brush was chipped on site acting as mulch for the pockets of exposed soil. Recycling the bio-waste provided cover to help prevent erosion and saved time by not having to haul material off site. Several months later, Davey performed a follow-up foliar application with 2% glyphosate to treat any new honeysuckle sprouts.

What was once a shadowy grove of alien plants became a beautiful habitat with valuable resources from which to learn and admire. The combination of mechanical removal and chemical application resulted in complete eradication of the invasive vegetation improving visual impact and ecology for the area while exceeding the client’s expectations. Despite the large seed bank left behind from the harvest, Davey’s restoration success means that fewer resources are required to maintain the area.