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Get Involved

Whether helping with routine maintenance or participating in organized events and activities, there are lots of ways to be a steward of Mission Hill’s natural areas.

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Pick up trash when you see it on your walks in these sites.

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Remove the two most aggressive invasive plants in the area: Black swallow-wort and Oriental bittersweet vine.


Support and attend community events and restoration projects.

Black Swallow-wort

Black swallow-wort is a highly invasive perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It was introduced to North America in the early 1800s and has since spread to many parts of the continent. Black swallow-wort is a serious threat to native plants and ecosystems,

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How to remove Black Swallow-wort:

Black swallow-wort spreads quickly and has deep roots that are difficult to pull out. Digging, cutting, and seed pod removal are the 3 best ways to prevent the spread of this plant.


This is the most effective way to remove black swallow-wort, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. To dig up black swallow-wort, use a shovel to dig deep enough to get the entire root system. Be sure to dispose of the plant material properly, as black swallow-wort can re-sprout from even small pieces of root.


Cutting down black swallow-wort plants can help to control their spread, but it will not kill them completely. To cut down black swallow-wort, use a sharp knife or saw to cut the stems at the base of the plant. Be sure to cut the stems below the soil line, or the plants will re-sprout.

Seed Pod Removal

Seed Pods begin to spread in late summer and early fall; removing them is key to keeping the plant from spreading.

Oriental Bittersweet Vine

Oriental bittersweet vine is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It was introduced into the United States in the 1860s and has since escaped cultivation and spread to many parts of the eastern United States and is considered to be one of the most problematic invasive plants in the region.

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How to remove Oriental Bittersweet Vine:

Oriental bittersweet is a woody vine that can grow up to 60 feet long and produces clusters of orange berries in the fall. The berries are attractive to birds, which help to spread the seeds of the plant.

Cut the vine at the base

Use a sharp saw or loppers to cut the vine at the base of the plant. Be careful not to damage any nearby plants.

Remove the vine from the tree

If the vine is growing on a tree, carefully remove it without damaging the tree.

Tip: Remove the vine in the winter - Oriental bittersweet is dormant in the winter, so it is easier to remove and less likely to spread.

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