KUDZU COALITION -- 2008 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

December 2008 and January 2009 Newsletter

 

Recognition by others (mostly outside of Spartanburg):

            NPR Doug Keel’s “Speaking of Schools”: Follow-up interview on SC Educational Radio

            SE-EPPC Symposium in Biloxi, Miss issippi: Presentation “Engaging Volunteers”

            Regional magazine Wildland Weeds cover and article: “Kudzilla – The Kudzu Warrior”

            Regional magazine Wildland Weeds article: “Alternative Controls for Kudzu”

            Clemson University scientific paper: Credits us for help in study of use of sheeting to kill kudzu

            Dr. Jim Miller, Auburn University: Recognizes us for non-chemical methods in his paper

            Sumter National Forest: Engaged us for second year to do mop up project on 23 acres

            United Way: One of our volunteers received Senior Retiree Volunteer of the Year

 

Financial: Lived within our means, pursued no federal or local grants -- thanks to individual donors

 

Kudzu control sites:

            Tackled 15 new “Spots of Embarrassment”: now 64 sites (up from 49)

            Achieved 100% kill at 10 more sites (total now 21) and saved hundreds of trees

            Kudzu SWAT team: Traveled to and helped in Union, Greenville, Greer, and Charlotte

 

Students:

            Continued “No Student Left Indoors” theme

            Proved, with Berry Shoals School, that 5th grade students are effective & have fun working on kudzu

            Launched kudzu activity at Riverside High in Greer (first outside of Spartanburg County)

            Worked with students from 6 schools & over 200 kids (up from 100) in one or more kudzu patches

            Completed field trips to Rose Hill Historical Park (killed kudzu, learned SC history, and had fun)

            Provided “Kudzu Warrior” t-shirts for students and adults who perform six hours of kudzu service

            Increased emphasis on annual Youth Art & Writing Awards and Kudzu Kapers festival May 1, 2009

            Distributed Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods (donated by library) to all District      Superintendents & principals of grades 6 to 12. The book defines “Nature-Deficit Disorder”

 

Adult volunteers:

            Continued to make “fun” a fundamental element

            Breakfasted every Monday morning at Honey Bee’s -- an important planning time

            Continued strong partnerships: Auburn, City, Clemson, Hub-Bub, MG, SC-EPPC, SMGC, SPACE

 

Awareness:

            Increased awareness significantly through signs at each of 64 sites

            Began using “100% Kudzu Kill” signs where appropriate (now 21 sites)

            Continued to attract favorable attention throughout Southeast through www.kokudzu.com web site

 

Treatments/Methods:

            Purchased used tracks for skid loader (bobcat)

            Designed & implemented 16 foot boom (built in Spartanburg) to expand reach of skid loader

            Designed & implemented a rake (built in Spartanburg) which is superior to grapple hook

            Adopted the name “Kudzilla” for the modified skid loader -- “Weapon of Bio-Mass Destruction”

            Developed new treatment using hot water to kill kudzu – a “backyard” solution

            Completed restoration of steep bank behind Beacon after kudzu removal

            *Confirmed at Sumter Nat’l Forest: Non-chemical methods can replace herbicide mop-ups

            *Completed kudzu removal after herbicide use behind Beacon (Proves merit in working together)

            *Initiated herbicide application followed by non-chemical methods in Hampton Heights

            *Developed effective kudzu removal using tractor with bush hog and scarifier (tines in soil)

            *Demonstrated effectiveness of mowing

            * Items above: Demonstrated “big picture” benefits arising from use of combinations of methods

 

Education:

            Conducted ten sessions of Kudzu Kollege (diplomas now presented upon graduation)

            Presented at schools & other groups: NJHA convention, Piedmont Sertoma, Sierra, garden clubs, etc.

            Trained a reliable lawn care firm and one individual – now available for hire in kudzu control