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Ecological Restoration

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Invasive non-native species (INS) are found in every city around the globe, but their impacts in urban settings as biological agents of visual pollution that block views of natural landscapes and disconnect citizens from nature are not as often addressed as comprehensively as their impacts in natural areas or agricultural settings. The multiple impacts of INS in cities make them ideal candidates for aspects of Civic Ecology Practice, where local environmental stewardship action is taken to enhance green infrastructure and community well-being in urban and other human-dominated systems. We present details of a community driven program focused on removal of an INS, Amur bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), from banks of a creek in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the midwestern USA. Unlike many civic ecology practices, this project was motivated by community response to the long-developing environmental, social, and economic impacts of an INS and includes involvement of a major corporation. In response to local residents’ concerns and following months of planning, over 2,000 volunteers removed more than 760 m3 of Amur bush honeysuckle from 30 acres of land along Fall Creek during a single day. The honeysuckle removal served ecological and environmental goals of removing an invasive species, but it also helped foster in citizens a sense of place and connection with Indianapolis’ waterways, reflecting local history and culture. Aspects of the project can serve as a model for action in other cities.


Originally published by University of Wisconsin Press under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 License in Ecological Restoration, 2015, Volume 33, Issue 3. DOI: 10.3368/er.33.3.316.