Ivy Invaders

Photo by Bruce Rottink

Vines climb toward the sun
Growing upward, climbing trees
For the trees, this is no fun
The cage of vines and leaves
English Ivy, strong and long
Trees know there’s something wrong
They cry for help, a desperate song
Finally, someone hears
Here to save the day!
They come to work and play!
The ivy had no chance
Against the people who pull invasive plants.

If you have ever visited a park or natural area in Oregon, you have probably seen non-native ivy sprawling across the ground or climbing trees. Hedera hibernica (Irish Ivy) and Hedera helix (English ivy) are the most common invasive ivies in the Pacific Northwest.  Invasive ivy is a threat to understory biodiversity because it out competes native plants for sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. Ivy also climbs trees to get more light for photosynthesis. The weight of ivy on trees is a significant weight burden and can often kill trees. Ivy is such a threat to native species and ecosystems that, in 2010, the Oregon Department of Agriculture banned the sale, propagation, or transport of English Ivy.

So what is being done to remove invasive ivy from natural areas and save native species? The Johnson Creek Watershed Council and our volunteers work hard to remove ivy and other invasive species from our restoration sites. For several years, we have been collaborating with Portland Parks & Recreation, the Powellhurst-Gilbert Greening Committee, and the No Ivy League to remove ivy from a restoration site at the Springwater Corridor Trail and SE 128th. With the hard work of volunteers, we have cleared almost all the Ivy at this site!

Because we were so successful in removing ivy, we have graduated to a new restoration site! This year, we will be working to remove ivy and other invasive plants from Indian Creek Natural Area in SE Portland, near Lents. This restoration event is the 15th year of No Ivy Day, a citywide effort to improve native habitat by eradicating invasive ivy!

To find more details and register, visit this link. We’d love to have you!

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Our Watershed Wide Event is Coming! March 2nd, 8:45-12noon
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