MARQUETTE — The Marquette Noquemanon Trail Network and Marquette County Conservation District partnered together to start cleaning up the trails in Marquette.

They are working on removing invasive plant species that are harming the ecosystem. The volunteers are removing Japanese Barberry from the trails that have become invaded by this species.

This plant tends to make it harder for other plant species to flourish in the ecosystem therefore slowly killing off the native species. The plant consists of tiny lobed leaves, thorns and green berries.
As summer progresses towards the fall the plant will start to change color and become bright red.

“We are pulling Japanese Barberry, it is an invasive species and as you can see behind it is all over the forest floor over here,” said Lake to Lake CISMA Coordinator, Elise Desjarlais. “Unfortunately it is a really popular ornamental plant that is found in landscaping. But once the berries are carried by wild life into the woods, it can escape and can go crazy.”

Not only does it disrupt the native vegetation but the berries also lack in nutrients for the native animals inhabiting the area.

This can affect an animal’s diet and health causing more damage to the ecosystem.