Native Plant Project Preserves Region's Natural Heritage
(Gaffney, SC)---Under siege by indiscriminant invasive plants, the Cowpens National Battlefield landscape today has a new ally: a team of young and determined volunteers.
The five individuals – members of the nonprofit Student Conservation Association (SCA) – hail from all over the country and bring a range of relevant backgrounds, expertise and experience. For the past month and a half, they have fanned over Cowpens National Battlefield spraying, cutting and pulling thousands of privet, multiflora rose, autumn olive and other exotic plants. The team will continue to work on invasive plant removal for the next month and a half until late spring.
"Invasive plant species can drastically alter the landscape and endanger the biodiversity of an ecosystem," says Tyler Lau, a project leader with the SCA Native Plant Corps. "Native plants such as river cane are important for historical interpretation of the Battle of Cowpens. Invasive plant species also harm the livelihood of the local community and hinder the chance of future generations to enjoy the park. We're here to see that doesn't happen."
The SCA team is working in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and Palmetto Conservation Foundation. Similar SCA-led efforts have stemmed invasive plants in embattled areas of Colorado, Nevada, Utah and throughout the West.
On Saturday April 16th, 2011, the SCA team will be hosting a volunteer day at Cowpens National Battlefield to kick off National Park Week (April 16th-24th). Volunteers will be helping the SCA team remove invasive plant species and learning about conservation efforts at Cowpens National Battlefield. There will be two chances to volunteer: from 9:15am to 11:45am and from 12:45 pm to 3 pm. Please RSVP by calling 208-954-4462 and leaving a message with your name, number in your party, and session you plan to attend.
Dedicated to building a new generation of conservation leaders, SCA instills an ethic of Conservation wherein both the land and the individual are nourished through the performance of hands-on service. High school, college and graduate student members annually provide more than 1.5 million hours of service in national parks, forests and other public lands.
Please visit the team's website at http://www.thesca.org/pcs11/group-home for more information on the team's efforts at Cowpens National Battlefield during the spring of 2011.
For more information about the Student Conservation Association, contact Kevin Hamilton at 603-543-1700, ext.185 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.theSCA.org.