Bush Honeysuckle: Enemy of the State. Does that sound dramatic? That's the tone taken by a current state-wide campaign in Missouri to spur property owners to eradicate bush honeysuckle encroaching on their property. You may have seen one of the billboards along I-70. Hopefully it works!
And check out their video: Whoa! A little drama may be needed to call people to action. The unique natural heritage of Missouri is indeed at risk. (Not to mention the eastern quarter of Kansas.) We've seen the effects honeysuckle can have in Roanoke Park and many other KC metro area parks and natural areas. Areas that have been severely infested by bush honeysuckle have their biodiversity greatly reduced and their native plants crowded out. Tree seedlings, especially of oak trees, have a hard time getting started under the dense shade of the pervasive honeysuckle thickets. Spring ephemeral wildflowers are killed out. Add a ground cover of purple wintercreeper (from China) and the environmental damage is multiplied. Without the native plants, shrubs and trees as host plants for caterpillars, birds have much less to feed their young. See BringingNatureHome.net to learn all about the vital role native plants play in our local environment, ie, your back yard. It's bad out there folks, but with a little effort we can turn the tide. Not just by cutting honeysuckle and wintercreeper, but by planting the native plants, shrubs and trees that they're crowding out. Not just in the park, but in your home garden and any other land you manage. See The Living Landscape for inspiration.
We have more information on this site about Bush Honeysuckle.
None of this is news to the neighbors cutting bush honeysuckle from Roanoke Park. Obviously we whole-heartedly endorse the campaign Stop-Honeysuckle.org.