Invasive plant species such as Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosestrife can upset the normal ecological balance and create many problems for native flora and fauna. Invasive plant species can greatly reduce the diversity of native plant communities by outcompeting for sunlight and nutrients, and can reduce food and habitat for the animals that rely on those native plants. Some species of plants can be very difficult to control once they become established.
Students from Keene State College have worked with the City to develop a map of the Japanese knotweed colonies along Beaver Brook. Ideally, this map will be used to help develop a plan to control and monitor knotweed populations. One possible strategy is to find individuals or groups that may be willing to 'adopt' a section of stream for control efforts.
Efforts to monitor and control invasive species in sections of Woodlawn Cemetery are outlined below:
Purple Loosestrife - Galerucella beetles, which feed only on purple loosestrife, are a recommended method of population control. These beetles have been found in Woodlawn Cemetery. Their impacts on the loosestrife population will be observed over time.
Japanese Knotweed - Stands of Japanese knotweed in Woodlawn Cemetery were selected for a population control pilot study. The effects of this effort will be monitored and a broader strategy developed. Repeated cuttings of knotweed can help to deplete energy stored in the plants roots. However, be aware that all parts of the plant must be removed and put somewhere where it can completely dry out. Pieces of the plant left in place or that fall in the brook can re-root and start new colonies.