A hardy group of volunteers from the Friends of Canonchet (FOC) load up the tool trailer most Saturday winter mornings to work clearing invasive plants, like knotweed, privet, bittersweet, porcelain berry, Japanese barberry, and burning bush along a 1.3 mile Nature Trail that connects the Narragansett Elementary School and the auxiliary Narragansett Beach parking lot. The crew has removed many invasives from the Nature Trail over the past four winters.
FOC members are now tackling more than 25 burning-bush (Euonymus Alatus) and Japanese Barberry (Berberis Thunbergii) on the grounds around the South County Museum thanks to a donation from the South County Garden Club. Both plant species are highly invasive in Southern Rhode Island. “We have been fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with the Friends of Canonchet. The time and talent their volunteers donate have been priceless,” explained Jim Crothers, Executive Director of the museum.
The week of September 21 the invasive shrubs and plants will be removed by volunteers from the Friends of Canonchet, URI Master Gardeners, and South County Museum volunteers. New colorful, pollinator-friendly native plants and flower plantings will replace the invasives and rejuvenate the Circle and Half Moon gardens. Blueberry shrubs will be one of the main attractions that will serve as a functional border known for attracting birds. Finally, plant signs will be added to complete the project which will serve as an educational exhibit for the museum’s many visitors as well as a beautiful backdrop for couples using the grounds for their wedding.
Volunteers interested in getting their hands dirty are encouraged to join in to help. Thomas Hoagland, a ten-year University of Rhode Island Master Gardener and Vice President of the Friends of Canonchet will present an overview of the project on Monday, September 21st at 7:00 PM via Zoom. This videoconference talk is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
For more information on the talk or volunteer planting, contact the South County Museum at (401) 783-5400 or visit www.southcountymuseum.org.