Press Releases

Students Spend Winter Break Clearing Invasive Plants in Florida

Date Released: 2/3/2010

Natural Science students Jessica Phumacee and Cassie Landrum joined in removing non-native plants from Blowing Rocks Preserve and other public parks in Florida.

Wearing gloves, hats and thick soled shoes, psychology major Jessica Phumacee and environmental studies major Cassie Landrum spent a week with 12 other student volunteers clearing several public parks in South Florida of non-native invasive plants such as the Brazilian pepper plant.

At the 73 acre Blowing Rocks Preserve they cleared a four-foot wide path three fourths of a mile long cutting exotic plants. They also worked at Jonathan Dickinson Park and inlet State Park in Fort Pierce. 

Mike Renda, biologist at Blowing Rocks said " The students provide badly needed labor. Brazilian pepper is especially tough to eliminate because birds continually drop the seeds in the oceanfront park. We have to do this all by hand and the students have all this energy and enthusiam. They are a huge help."