June 2009 Newsletter


Kudzilla versus privet: Paul Blakeley is getting good at clearing privet, a bad invasive, with his skid-steer (bobcat). Ed Griffin wanted to widen the “fairways” for the SPACE Frisbee golf course. Paul was able to knock the privet down and clear out a 100 yard strip this week. We know that privet seeds can survive three years and will be following up on this first massive removal of privet.


“From Kudzu to Community Gardens”: Samantha Parks and the Hillcrest/Hillview neighborhood have made big progress in this exciting initiative. Jerry Campbell, developer of Hillcrest Commons, volunteered to allow the neighborhood to connect to his existing water meter. This saved the $1,150 cost to install a new meter. Jerry is also donating $50 of water during each of the next three months. Sure beats hauling water in buckets! On behalf of the neighborhood, thank you Jerry.


Kudzu elimination in nine months: The big kudzu news from the Hillcrest community gardens is that the combination of methods which we reported last month has virtually eliminated an acre of kudzu in less than a year. Nothing that we have seen in the literature comes close in terms of such a short time span. We suspect that this is a first.


New addition to our weaponry: Several months ago the Monday morning kudzu breakfast team, which meets at Honey Bee’s every Monday at 7:30 AM, decided that our next big step forward would be to use a one man walk-behind bush hog. The concept is for us to use this around the edges of kudzu sites and in preventing kudzu invasions during the summer. The DR can get to places that a tractor-drawn bush hog cannot go.. Walt Pettiss has made that dream come true by lending us his DR, a brand for a heavy duty walk-behind, for several months. Stay tuned. This is big. Fred Parish is helping with the storage and Steve Patton is leading the test work, development of safety rules, and training connected with the DR.


SPACE honors three Kudzu Coalition volunteers: At the SPACE annual meeting in May, Mary Walter named Jim Anderson, Paul Blakeley, and Howard Miller Co-Volunteers of the Year in recognition of their many hours of dedicated service in removing kudzu from SPACE property. They received the coveted Harold Hatcher Award. Lou Adams scanned the newspaper picture and posted it onto our website at: http://www.kokudzu.com/SJ_09-06-05.html


Kudzu SWAT team goes to Woodruff: As a part of the joint initiative with the Spartanburg Garden Club Council to “Save Our Trees”, we and the Woodruff Garden Ellas attacked the kudzu among the trees at the Woodruff city limits on highway 221. We still have work to do but progress is visible.


We very much appreciate the wonderful people and the more than 140 participating groups who have and are supporting this wild and crazy endeavor. These truly are fun and exciting times! Come to Kudzu Kollege on Saturday, July 25, and see for yourself: http://www.kokudzu.com/Education.html