The Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) manages a site off Woodburn Dr. in Spartanburg, part of Cottonwood Trail in the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve. SPACE plans to build a disc golf ("Frisbee® golf") course on the property, named "Rustic Frisbee Golf Course". The following sketch is courtesy of Ed Griffin, long time SPACE volunteer who lives nearby and for whom the Cottonwood Trail is named. Click on the image for a larger view. The sketch shows the preliminary design for the course, with north up. It is along Lawson Fork Creek at the north boundary of the course. The entrance and parking is on Woodburn Rd. at the southern boundary, near the intersection with Fernwood Dr. (west of the area in the sketch, not shown). The preliminary design for the course has it running mostly north and south, partly inside a Duke Energy power line right of way.
There is kudzu along the proposed course (left photograph), and kudzu could easily "take over" ground that is carefully tended for the course. The right photograph shows a spot where the disc golf course would pass between an electric power tower and woods. Volunteer leader Ed Griffin recommended that the Coalition tackle this infestation along the power lines. July 2007.
By September 2007, SPACE installed an information kiosk for the course. This is the roofed structure on the far right side of the photograph. Logs outline the area on the ground for a future paved parking area (see above sketch), which is adjacent to the kiosk. Note the many power lines and associated towers at this site.
Lynn Rhodes, a SPACE landscaper, prepares to use his Bush Hog® (brush hog) on kudzu in the left photograph. Lynn is a graduate of Kudzu Kollege. He volunteered his time for the kudzu work, and SPACE provided the equipment. This was an opportunity for the Coalition to observe the effectiveness of the brush hog as a kudzu treatment. His strategy is to back the brush hog over kudzu with the blades raised high. Lynn then drops the blades low, and cuts the kudzu as he pulls out of the patch. The right photograph shows the appearance of ground treated after 15 minutes of work. Nice flat ground with visible chopped-up kudzu. The brush hog is clearly a weapon of (bio)mass destruction (WBMD?). Note however that this treatment does not kill kudzu — the brush hog just cuts it back, and begins stressing the plants. If these treatments are repeated whenever green kudzu shoots appear over the course of two or more years, then eventually the kudzu should die (stripping). September 2007.
During the 1¾ hour treatment, it was necessary for Lynn to stop five times to remove vines that had wrapped around the drive shaft. This is a problem for any machine with rotating cutters that treats vines, which perhaps is only avoided using reciprocating cutters. The method that Lynn uses to treat kudzu (drop cutters onto the vines, then pull out of the patch) is intended to minimize this problem without unduly slowing down the work. September 2007.
Two photographs show dead foliage on hanging vines that were cut during the first work session two weeks earlier. The emphasis for this work session was to clear kudzu from around smaller trees. September 2007.
This work has only just begun, so keep checking back for future updates!