Volunteer with Brown County Native Woodlands Project

The Brown County Native Woodlands Project (bcnwp.org) is seeking volunteers from organizations that share an interest in the control of invasive plants.

BCNWP has been engaged in an effort within Brown County State Park for the past 5 years and seeks support for this project, which is described below. We would like to develop an email address list of individuals who would consider helping out occasionally and would like to be informed of scheduled work sessions. Email to CR91LJL@AOL.COM to get on the list.

Project Description:

The project is a cooperative effort between the Brown County Native Woodlands Project (bcnwp.org), the Parks and Reservoirs division of the DNR, and The Nature Conservancy (tnc.org) with occasional support from The Friends of Brown County State Park, Habitat Solutions, the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (hmba.org), and various individual volunteers.

The BCNWP strategic plan emphasizes invasive control on large land holdings in Brown County as a way to make significant gains in the county.  The largest land holding in the county is the state park and the DNR was pleased to support this project.

Initially, the effort was focused on eliminating Japanese stilt grass along the newly constructed mountain bike trails.  This effort continues, but has expanded to include watersheds that affect the bike trails and to include other invasive species in these areas.   Multiflora rose dominates the understory of some areas in the park, particularly the lower elevations and moist areas.

2014 is the fifth consecutive year of the project.  Great strides have been made in controlling stilt grass and thinning the population of multiflora, barberry, and autumn olive.  Nonetheless, there still exist many “opportunities.”  Stilt grass appearance is much thinner and has disappeared in some treated areas.  Multiflora has been reduced considerably and the boundary of the heaviest infestations pushed back.

Treatment methods:

Invasive control at BCSP involves spraying of herbicides through either a foliar spray or using the “cut-stump” method where only a small amount of herbicide is applied to the stalk of a brushy plant after it has been cut off.

The primary species being attacked are multiflora rose, Japanese stilt grass, Japanese barberry, autumn olive, privet, vinca,  and bush honeysuckle, in order of frequency.  The stilt grass treatment season lasts from July through August so that will be the focus during the summer months. 

The herbicide depends on the technique and species.

            Poast for foliar treatment of stilt grass 

            Glyphosate for foliar treatment of all others

            Pathfinder II for cut-stump

The technique depends on the species, size, and accessibility.

Multiflora rose & Japanese Barberry – cut-stump for mature plants, foliar for smaller plants and dense stands where access to the base is limited.

 Stilt grass —  foliar

Autumn olive, bush honeysuckle, and privet – foliar for less that 2 ft. in height else cut-stump

Herbicide is prepared off-site and is usually applied using a back-pack sprayer which can contain up to 4 gallons when full.  A full back-pack sprayer weighs about 36 pounds, so we don’t start out with a full container if the individual isn’t accustomed to that heavy load.  There will be occasional opportunities for someone to help simply by driving a pickup truck for roadside spraying while someone else walks behind using a motorized spayer mounted in the bed of the pickup.  The truck will be supplied.

The cut-stump method requires the use of some type of pruner.  When cutting multiflora, we generally use a long handled manual pruner or a motorized hedge trimmer type of pruner.  Other species such as autumn olive are easily cut down with a standard manual pruner.

Work Schedule:

Work is coordinated by Len Logterman and is generally done on weekday mornings from about 8am-11am.  Special work sessions can be arranged for evenings or Saturday mornings for those who aren’t available on weekday mornings.

Small groups of 6 or less are preferred.  The ability to identify each of the species is a plus.  Teams of 2 may be assigned to work together in a particular area.  An inexperienced volunteer would be paired with an experienced individual.


            * Sturdy work boots which are high enough to cover the ankle.

            * Long pants

            * Gloves

            * Long sleeves are optional, but recommended when working on multiflora

            * Safety glasses

            * Cell phone

            *If you have a smart phone, load the Maprika app and install the BCSP map


Terrain will vary from grassy roadside to a rugged groomed trail to rocky creek beds, to heavy vegetation and vines which require very careful foot-work.

Most work areas are heavily shaded and most work sessions avoid mid-day heat and sun.

Most of the work will be focused on the northern part of the park with the exception of some of the roadsides.  Some work areas are well off the beaten track and will require transport via 4WD truck to a jumping off point and then hiking as much as ¾ mile while searching out and treating the target species.


Send an email to CR91LJL@AOL.COM if you wish to volunteer or be informed of scheduled work sessions.


    Ruth Ann Ingraham wrote on July 13, 2014

    I passed your information along to Len Logterman in Brown County. He will be pleased to have you as part of the team, I'm sure.

    spence gibbs wrote on July 10, 2014

    I am available weekdays to help out removing invasive plants. Email n9dvlin@gmail.com Cell 3175382636 AMN 2013

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