Local church helps Maple Grove Preservation Area

Fifty-five members of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently turned out on a rainy morning to do their part in saving the Maple Grove Preservation Area. This is the Church’s second year to clear the invasive buckthorn plant to help the natural habitat grown.

Family members, left to right: Doris Miller, Shelly Miller, Ahna Miller, Joshua Miller and Bill Miller, take a break during buckthorn removal in the Maple Grove Preservation Area.

Family members, left to right: Doris Miller, Shelly Miller, Ahna Miller, Joshua Miller and Bill Miller, take a break during buckthorn removal in the Maple Grove Preservation Area.

For the past nine years the city has been working on a huge infestation of the invasive buckthorn. It is a project that will probably take another 15 to 20 years to complete according to Frank Kampel, Maple Grove Arbor Committee staff representative, “It can seem overwhelming at times but anything is one step ahead of where we were.”

Each plant has to be cut down and treated with a chemical, similar to round up, in order to prevent stronger, larger re-growth. The fall is the best of year to clear the buckthorn as it is the last plant to shed its leaves and makes it easy to spot to prevent accidentally cutting down the natural native plants.

Elder Gum pulls out a buckthorn plant in Maple Grove recently.

Elder Gum pulls out a buckthorn plant in Maple Grove recently.

The city counts on groups such as The Latter-day Saints to help clear the buckthorn. Kampel said that, “Typically we have smaller groups of 2 to 10 people so a group this size is highly unusual and we are extremely grateful.”

According to the church, all who participated were grateful to help.

Elder Gum, a missionary serving in Maple Grove, skipped using the clipping shears and went straight to pulling out the trees with his bear hands.

People had their own methods of work but all would agree that it was rewarding.

Thirteen-year-old Isaac Holcomb summed it up best when he simply stated, “It is fun, but hard work!”

The Wharton family, left to right: Nathan, Greg, Elizabeth and Emma, work as a team to remove buckthorn in Maple Grove.

The Wharton family, left to right: Nathan, Greg, Elizabeth and Emma, work as a team to remove buckthorn in Maple Grove.

Latter-day Saints are no strangers to hard work. The Church partners with government and nonprofit organizations to support and improve the communities they live in. It reflects the desire of members to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others.

For more information on helping the preservation efforts call Frank Kampel at 763-494-6365.

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