On Saturday June 27, join Rocky Mountain National Park staff and Estes Land Stewardship Association (ELSA) from 8 a.m. to noon to help pull exotic plants and learn more about noxious weeds. Meet at the corner of High Drive and Columbine Drive to sign in and test your skills in weed identification. Tools and water will be provided. Last year almost thirty people participated to tackle, dig, and pull noxious weeds!
One of the many challenges land managers face is the threat that invasive exotic plants or noxious weeds present. Invasive exotic plants can upset natural processes and often use that "strategy" to spread. Exotic weeds are not native to the area they are invading. As a result, they frequently have few effective predators, competitors, parasites, or diseases. They can spread across a landscape quickly and replace native species that have important functions in the ecosystem.
Exotic weeds upset natural processes in a variety of ways. Some are poisonous if consumed by wildlife. Some release compounds into the soil to prevent the seeds of other plants from germinating. Some produce such thick aggregations of plants, they shade out native plants. This can disrupt other native species such as butterflies and other pollinators.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.