Fourche Creek

Fighting Invasives Along Fourche

As part of our efforts to restore and revitalize Fourche Creek for the benefit of the environment and a wide variety of public uses, Audubon’s conservation staff recently wrapped up three years of work eradicating invasive plant species along 3,300 feet of the creek. Help in the field was provided by Central Arkansas Master Naturalist volunteers and Little Rock Parks staff. Arkansas Forestry Commission funded the project through the Non-native Invasive Plants Program.

The forested creek banks at Benny Craig and Interstate Parks were densely overgrown with invasive plants such as Chinese Privet, Chinese Tallow Tree, Red-tipped Photina, and Heart-leaf Peppervine. These non-native plants were killing native trees, keeping native understory plants from growing, and preventing people from accessing the forest and creek. We used mechanical and chemical control methods to remove these pest plants. As a result, a variety of native plants such as Jewelweed and Green Dragon that were in the seed bank were finally able to germinate and flourish. Plus residents had more room to fish along Fourche.

Benny Craig and Interstate Parks sit at either end of Fourche Creek Water Trail, which winds through 1800 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. There are more invasive species in there that need to be treated as part of Audubon’s desire for healthy forest management all along Fourche Creek.

Benny Craig Park
Left: Benny Craig Park immediately after grinder treatment in spring 2017. Right: Understory vegetative response following the treatment. Photo: Audubon Arkansas

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