Restoration Work Leads To Big Surprise In Frick Park

JUN 8, 2018 Allegheny FrontThe forest behind the Frick Environmental Center is lush. But walk about 500 feet along the Clayton Hill trail and you come to a clearing, a break in the forest canopy. 
“It looks a little bit shocking when you first see it,” says Judith Cook, volunteer landscape coordinator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.Judith Cook holds one of the invasive plants that had created a fortress in a 2.6 acre area of Frick Park.A Wall of HoneysuckleOver the winter, Cook worked on a restoration project in this area. A giant stand of invasive bush honeysuckle – about 2.6 acres –  had taken over making the area impassable. It needed to come down before it smothered whatever was growing below.“This whole area, you couldn’t see anything,” Cook says. “It was just a wall of bush honeysuckle. You could not walk in here. It was so crazy.”The honeysuckle in this patch of forest likely escaped from someone’s yard and had been growing, unchecked, for about two decades.  And once it was cleared, the parks staff made an important discovery: Ten strong, full-grown butternut trees. This news was thrilling to Conservancy staff because a healthy butternut is a very rare find… read the full article