The effective maintenance of native plant communities involves the monitoring and control of invasive plants. City Engineering continues to develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) process to help manage invasive species. IPM is an approach to management decisions that integrates biological, physical, and chemical tools while minimizing health and environmental risks.

Monitoring is the most important management tool used on Engineering land. Monitoring involves walking sites and noting desirable species, invasive species, sources of invasive species, disturbed areas, pollution or litter, erosion and any other issues that can disrupt the ecological functioning of a site.  Without monitoring there is no way to know which sites require and will benefit from additional maintenance.

Crews digging

Mowing is the second most common management tool used on Engineering land. Mowing sets back undesirable tree and shrub growth that can shade out herbaceous species and lead to erosion. Some woody plants are aggressively invasive (i.e. buckthorn, honeysuckle) and can greatly reduce plant diversity in an area.  Mowing can also help control herbaceous invasive species if timed appropriately. Engineering may request selective spot mows in conjunction with timed mows to preserve desirable blooms and reduce unnecessary mowing.

Manual removal of invasive species is the third most common tool used – and the most labor intensive. Manual removal includes hand digging, cutting, pulling, and brush mowing before the plant produces seed. This method is effective for species that are short-lived and spread aggressively by seed like wild parsnip or teasel.

Engineering strives to limit the use of chemical pest control as a management tool, but may use chemical control when the species or site conditions merit it.