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Local Group Recognized for Improving Scioto Run Nature Trail

Volunteers recognized at city council

Hilliard City Council recognized local volunteer group “Friends of the Trail” Monday night with the first “Heart for Service” award during National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW). The award was developed to honor and recognize individuals, community groups, and/or organizations and businesses who are making significant contributions to the Hilliard community.

“Friends of the Trail has gone above and beyond to clear invasive Honeysuckle from Scioto Run Nature Trail,” said City of Hilliard Director of Recreation and Parks Ed Merritt. “They started as participants in our Adopt-a-Park program, but what they’ve accomplished has gone above and beyond what we could have imagined.”

Starting in the spring of 2018, the volunteer group was formed as a partnership with Scioto Run Civic Association and Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department. As part of this partnership, and at the City’s direction, the volunteers cleared more than two-thirds of the invasive honeysuckle from the nature trail, piling up the debris and leaving piles for City staff to turn into mulch with a chipper/shredder.

But they didn’t stop there. The group cut down vines that damage trees, pulled invasive garlic mustard weeds, spread mulch created from the debris piles, and picked up litter. They also planted some native, City-approved tree saplings in the spring and spread native, City-approved wildflower seeds in the fall.

The volunteers spent 3.5 years working three days a week, totaling 2,043.75 volunteer hours.

“The transformation is amazing!” Merritt said. “Nature restored itself on the western two-thirds of the trail, where they cleared out the honeysuckle. Families can reach the creek now.”

To get involved in the City’s Adopt-a-Park program, contact the Recreation and Parks Department.

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