Students get opportunity to help preserve area prairie grass

ISU student Chris Jackson will be working for several days to try to help preserve an area of prairie grass in Vigo County.

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 10:27 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 10:33 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - ISU student Chris Jackson will be working for several days to try to help preserve an area of prairie grass in Vigo County.

His main job: removing a dangerous threat to the prairie.

"It's really important that we manage this otherwise all this prairie grass that's around us eventually will be gone because the invasive species honeysuckle will prevent anything else from growing," Jackson says.

Jackson and others will be doing their best to make sure they remove and contain wild honeysuckle from all the prairie grass in a property south of Terre Haute.

"Honeysuckle will choke the life out of everything. Honeysuckle is one of the worst invasives we have in Indiana hands down" Adam Grossman with the Vigo County parks department says.

Jackson's job is to cut down they honeysuckle with a saw.

Then, a classmate will spray what's left with a chemical ensuring the plant won't grow back. Park officials say this time of year is the best time to spot invasive plants in the prairie. That's because the honeysuckle is the only thing that is green while the prairie grass is still brown.

"There's a lot of it they spread like wildfire across this field. It's a great learning experience for them and it's a great benefit to our department" Grossman says.

The students agree they say it's important for Wabash Valley residents to understand the historical significance behind prairie grass. They say letting prairie grass disappear could have a negative impact on the surrounding environment.

 "It's important to preserve the prairie grass because it's its own habitat for certain animals. There's a lot of snakes there's a lot of animals there's a lot of deer that are all running through here and it can be a valuable place for food and for shelter for a lot of those animals" Jackson says.

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