Efforts Underway to Control Invasive Plants at Starke County Forest

The Starke County Park Board is taking steps to control invasive plants at the Starke County Forest. Last week, board members agreed to let Forester Bruce Wakeland start seeking estimates for the work.

“The biggest issue I have is the purple loosestrife, and it grows in very wet ground,” he told board members. “Just a little bit of rise out of the water, and it can grow.”

Wakeland said he’s been trying to control the plant himself, but the gooey marsh conditions make that difficult. He explained that a combination of weather and health issues prevented him from reaching the area for the past couple of years. Wakeland said he wants to find a professional with the right equipment to access it.

He added that the marsh has several interesting features. “There’s just an incredible amount of wildlife in that marsh, and there’s a lot of native plants,” Wakeland said. “There’s some that aren’t native that we’ve already talked about. But I just think it’s a really neat marsh, even with all the history.”

Wakeland noted that the area has gone through several changes since the 1890s, including periods when it was used for onion farming and marl mining.