Area: Webb Park is located in the heart of Reedsburg, it runs along the Baraboo River and has a popular walking trail along the river named the Popple Trail, after a long time High School Science teacher that helped develop the river trail system several decades ago. The park and trail system are bordered by Main Street on the south, the Webb Middle School (former High School) on the north, residential neighborhood to the east and Baraboo River on the west.
Issue: The trail system is used by school groups to interact with nature and identify plant and animal species. The park is located adjacent to the middle school for easy access by student groups. The plant species over the past several decades have changed as Buckthorn has become a predominant species along the trail. Buckthorn is an invasive species that leafs out early and drops leaves late, with dense green foliage that blocks out competing species. The plant has long thorns and forms in dense groves. The black berries of the plant are consumed by birds and spread to other areas. With the Buckthorn taking over the trail system, the area has become less diverse in both plant and animal species.
Solution: The only way to combat invasive Buckthorn is with hand removal and immediate treatment of the stump to stop regrowth. With a mile of trail over a thirty acre area, this creates a large labor intensive project. Another issue is what to do with all the Buckthorn that is cut down, which we decided to use to build Rabbitat in place for the wildlife. Finally, replanting will be necessary to regrow the urban forest.