Clayton Kucera, a resident of Miramont, requested a project to beautify the City and meet the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout. He accepted the challenge to remove invasive plants and replace them with native plants in an area on Lake Berkeley across from City Hall. He directed the work of the members of Boy Scout Troop 419. Other residents of Berkeley Lake also helped with the project: Jordan Davoll of Berkeley Walk and Gerod Bond, Joseph Eaves, and Tyler Reeves of Miramont. The work was done under the leadership of the Berkeley Lake Conservancy.
Although sometimes beautiful, invasives can have negative side-effects. For example, in the area mentioned, Wisteria vines have been a problem. They have beautiful purple blooms in April but they climb and conquer and can eventually kill trees or shrubs. Last year a tall pine in that area was overgrown with a Wisteria vine and fell, luckily away from the road.
Also in that same area, but closer to Lake Berkeley Chapel, Chinese privet and Japanese honeysuckle were “taking over”. Both are plants that are termed “non-native invasive”. Chinese privet is the most invasive plant in Georgia, even more so than kudzu. Also in that category are English Ivy, Eleagnus, and Mahonia.
Once the invasives were removed, Silky Dogwood, Alternate-Leaf Dogwood, Red Cedar, Beech, Oak, Southern Magnolia, and one Holly tree were uncovered along with Hawthorne bushes and Devil’s Walking Stick.
In order to bring natural beauty back to the area, Clayton planted small native trees, including 3 bottlebrush buckeyes, 3 Florida anise, and 2 serviceberry plants. All of those plants will provide food for our butterflies and birds.
More clean-up is planned! The Conservancy plans to remove Chinese Privets from other areas of the City when cooler temperatures return in October and November. If you would like to help please contact members of the Berkeley Lake Conservancy