The new Master Naturalist class in Hannibal is working on a project to remove invasive species above Cardiff Hill Overlook.
The class members will be working at the site from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 20. The project extends along the steps from Becky’s Garden at Cardiff Hill Overlook to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. The site between Rock Street and the Lighthouse parking lot is a mix of private and public ground but is overrun with invasive species such as bush honeysuckle, tree of heaven, crown vetch, multiflora rose and Bartlett pear.
Invasive plants often form a thick understory that limits sunlight to native plants and deters forest regeneration and seedling growth. The invasive species also compete for soil moisture and nutrients and may produce a chemical that inhibits native plant growth.
The Master Naturalist program was coordinated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide outreach, education and service dedicated to natural resources conservation within their local communities.
The Missouri Master Naturalist program mixes science with service, engaging Missourians in stewardship of the state’s natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. The program is a partnership between MDC and the University of Missouri Extension.