Come Out and Help Richmond Hill Park on March 14th!

March Outing at Richmond Hill Park

Join Us!

Who:  Volunteer work day with MountainTrue

What: Non-Native Invasive Plant Control

Where:  Richmond Hill Park, Asheville, NC

When:  Saturday, March 14th , from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Backup Rain Date:

Sunday, March 15

Why:  To restore native plant communities by controlling non-native invasive plants

along a major drainage area that includes special wild plants and a mountain bike trail

within Richmond Hill Park

How:  By joining us for a fun day!

If interested, please RSVP to

Rachel Stevens by emailing ( or by calling the MountainTrue office at (828) 258-8737.

Our happy and hungry work crew.

Our happy and hungry work crew.

We’ll give instruction on how to identify and control non-native invasive plants of concern in the

Park, then we’ll go after these plants! MountainTrue will provide all gloves and equipment

needed for the event. Volunteers are asked to bring snacks, water, rain jacket and appropriate

layers for March weather. Long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and old shoes or hiking boots (no

open shoes or sandals) are required, even if it’s a warm day. If interested, please RSVP to

Rachel Stevens by emailing ( or by calling the MountainTrue office at

(828) 258-8737.

More information about Richmond Hill Park can be found at or contact

James Wood at

Cancled due to the weather! December 14th: Volunteers sought for invasive plant control outing at Richmond Hill Park

The workday at Richmond Hill has been canceled due to the weather. Current predictions are  for a high temperature in the very low 40 and rain. As such there will be no workday. I’m sorry of any disappointment of inconvenience.




Update: 12/10/13 – From WNCA

Hey Volunteers!

Thanks for signing up to help this Saturday at Richmond Hill Park. Everything you need to know about the day is in the link below.  Today is only Tuesday but we have an almost capacity number signed up to help. We are watching the weather and it’s too soon to know what Saturday will bring. Should the weather be too unfriendly for a productive day we will reschedule and notify you by email on Friday afternoon. Check your emails before you head out on Saturday if the weather looks questionable.

For those who have never been on one of these events, it’s important for you to be there at 10 for instruction. Those who have been trained can come at 10:30 ready to jump in. Bring water to drink or a hot  beverage of your choice and  a lunch or snacks. We will have some granola bars on hand for fortification.

Saturday’s leader will be Rose Butler who has been trained by Bob Gale and is certified by the state to use and teach the use of herbicides needed in this work. Rose is an experienced leader and a very valuable volunteer with WNCA. Bob, Rose and I have been working on developing a calendar for invasive events in 2014 both for Richmond Hill Park and other locations near Asheville. As we recruit and train more volunteers we want to encourage teams to break off and take on invasive work in other locations.

I can tell by all the names on the list that this is going to be a really good group of folks on Saturday!


Cynthia White Camilleri, Volunteer Coordinator

Western North Carolina Alliance

December 2nd, 2013


The Western North Carolina Alliance needs volunteers to participate in an invasive exotic plant management/control outing from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Richmond Hill Park (280 Richmond Hill Drive).

These plants were introduced in earlier decades, both deliberately and accidentally, and have escaped into areas of our public lands. Invasive exotic plants out-compete native plants for space, sunlight, water, and nutrients, often causing a decline in biodiversity.

They can also take over and destroy native food sources, leaving wildlife with food that provides little to no nutritional value for their needs.

Our happy and hungry work crew.

Our happy and hungry work crew.

Staff will give instruction on how to identify invasive exotic plants of concern in the park, as well as how to use manual and chemical control methods.

Then we’ll put these skills to work treating invasive plant species found along the trail. We’ll provide gloves and equipment needed for the event. Volunteers are asked to bring lunch and water. Long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and old shoes or hiking boots (no open shoes or sandals) are required, even if the day is warm.

More information about Richmond Hill Park can be found at or by contacting James Wood at

If you want to join us, please RSVP to WNCA Volunteer Coordinator Cynthia Camilleri by, or by calling (828) 258-8737, ext. 207.

The Big Picture: why remove Chinese Privet from forests and your yard.

Increasingly, nonnative plants and animals are invading places we love, like forests, wetlands, and even our yards. These nonnative or exotic invaders can change many big picture ecosystem processes that we rarely think about. Ecosystem processes are important aspects of how ecosystems work. An example of these processes is the cycling nutrients like nitrogen or phosphorus. These nutrients flow from the soil to plants, then to animals and then back to the soil. The composition of plants in a forest influence how quickly these processes work, which in turn influences how the community of plants and animals change and evolve through time.

Changes in plant communities that accompany exotic plant invasions can ripple through ecosystems, altering animal habitat and affecting nearby streams and wetlands. Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) is a very common invasive exotic plant that invades many forests and wetlands. Research on the effect of privet in forests shows that as the amount of privet in forests increases, the speed of forest floor decomposition also increases. This means that as the leaves fall to the forest floor, the leaves are more rapidly eaten by bacteria, worms, insects and other critters in the soil. Ultimately, this means the nutrients from the leaves are more rapidly released back into the soil, and are able to be taken back up by plant roots.

Privet leaves are generally higher in nitrogen than are native species and nitrogen is an important nutrient. Privet takes up nitrogen and other nutrients very quickly, grows very fast, and produces lots of berries and seeds. Also, privet leaves are low in strong carbon compounds like cellulose and lignin, contributing to a quicker breakdown. Collectively, this means that as privet invades a forest (or yard), ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling speed up, enabling privet to rapidly expand and dominate over other species. This is not good for native wild flowers, birds, insects, and other species that live in our treasured forests and yards.

But there is still hope for these places we love. Large areas are being managed for the removal of privet, usually with volunteers from local citizen groups. Groups like Weed Warriors of Athens, Georgia and Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA) are actively removing privet in forests, along roadways and in city parks. You can help protect parks and forests buy removing plants like privet from your yard and replacing them with native plants. The southeast has many beautiful native plants such as American Holly (Ilex opaca) and Cinnamon Clethra (Clethra acuminata) that are great additions to your and benefit wildlife. Think about letting your local nursery or plant retailer know that you support native plants over invasive exotic alternatives, and that the protection of native forests (and your yard) is an issue that is important to you.


J.D. Mitchel, G. Lockaby and E. F. Brantly. 2011. Influence of Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) on Decomposition and Nutrient Availability in Riparian Forests. Invasive Plant Science and Management. 4:437-447.

J. Wilcox and C. W. Banks. 2007. The effects of Ligustrum sinense Lour. (Chinese Privet) on Abundance and Diversity of Songbirds and Native Plants in a Southeastern Nature Preserve. 6:535-550.