Challenges to Grover Cleveland Park
Invasive species can be plants, insects, fish, fungi, bacteria or seeds or animals that are not native to an ecosystem. Invasive species can cause the extinction of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats. Invasive species are among the leading threats to native wildlife. Approximately 42 percent of threatened or endangered species are at risk due to invasive species.
Invasive species can change the food web in an ecosystem by destroying or replacing native food sources. The invasive species may provide little to no food value for wildlife. Additionally, some invasive species are capable of changing the conditions in an ecosystem, such as changing soil chemistry or the intensity of wildfires.
Invasive Species Found in Grover Cleveland Park
In 2016, the Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy mounted an ambitious program to remove invasive species of plants, bushes from the park and replace them with native plants that would not be attractive to deer. Many of the community and corporate volunteer projects have been completed to date, but the Conservancy continues to be vigilant in the fight against invasive species.
Additionally, we have pursued an eradication plan for removing invasive species of plants from several areas of the park and replanted them with native New Jersey species. In Grover Cleveland Park, as in all the parks of the Essex County Park System, we only use mechanical methods to remove invasive plant species by pulling, digging, cutting, and mowing.
Thanks to Claudia Kolster and Warren Marchioni for identifying the invasive species and assisting in the removal of them from some areas of the park.