‘Clipping party’ to remove invasive shrubs at Poet’s Seat Tower, Highland Park

This burning bush was removed from outside Greenfield City Hall in summer 2022. The public is invited to help remove the invasive plant at Poet’s Seat Tower and Highland Park this weekend.

This burning bush was removed from outside Greenfield City Hall in summer 2022. The public is invited to help remove the invasive plant at Poet’s Seat Tower and Highland Park this weekend. Contributed Photo/Mary Westervelt

Staff Report

Published: 11-24-2023 4:27 PM

GREENFIELD — Greening Greenfield is inviting the public to get together for a “clipping party” at Poet’s Seat Tower and Highland Park this weekend.

The effort will focus on removing the invasive burning bush around the two areas. While the fall colors of the bush may be aesthetically pleasing, its never-ending spread prevents native plants from growing.

Residents are welcome to join Greening Greenfield at either location on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

“I find cutting back invasives very satisfying, and a great way to spend time with folks outdoors,” party organizer and Greening Greenfield member Nancy Hazard wrote in a statement. “My motivation is to keep nature as healthy as possible, save trilliums and other wildflowers, and help restore our climate and increase biodiversity.”

Burning bush was brought to the United States in the 1860s for use as an ornamental bush and can now be found from New England to northern Florida. The plant’s dense thickets and complex root systems crowd out native forest vegetation and its seeds are transported by animals that cannot digest its seeds, according to Skidmore College.

Greening Greenfield members have been working with the Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department to get permission to remove the plants from the two locations. A member of the MassWildlife Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program has visited both sites to ensure no rare or endangered native species will be affected by the clipping, according to Greening Greenfield.

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