The Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) own 12.15 acres in the Glendale Shoals area near the city of Glendale, outside of Spartanburg. It was acquired in 1994. SPACE has designated the property Glendale Shoals Preserve. The southern boundary of the preserve is accessed from, and lies along, Emma Cudd Rd., which is seen in the second photograph below. The first photograph shows the original state of affairs as viewed from Emma Cudd Rd. January 2005.
Trees are attacked along the road . . . but willing volunteers save the day! January and August 2005.
Note the black plastic sheets to knock down kudzu foliage at the woods perimeter, at the far right in the photograph. June 2005.
Kudzu is an attractive ground cover (first photograph), but it is a serious problem when it invades trees. Trees are the major concern at this site, so plastic sheets are used to kill kudzu (second photograph). July 2006.
Plastic sheets are reinforced using adhesive tape, and held to the ground using a spike passing through a large metal washer (left). The photograph at right shows an example of a long sheet of plastic fronting trees. In this way kudzu is quickly "knocked down" in preparation for surgical root crown removal. The kudzu on a steep embankment along a road is left in place for erosion control until a suitable replacement plant is chosen. July 2006.
Ground cleared of kudzu after surgical root crown removal. Discarded vines and crowns are piled up at the bottom right of the photograph for disposal. August 2006.
A skid loader is brought in to accelerate kudzu removal in large open areas of the site. The two-pronged fork is inserted under the mat of kudzu, raised as high as possible to break vines and pull crowns out of the ground, and the load is dropped after the vehicle moves forward over the newly cleared patch of ground. Repeating this process creates a large roll of kudzu, so the method is nicknamed "the kudzu roll". September 2006.
A large sheet covers ground cleared by the skid loader to kill crowns not pulled out of the ground by the skid loader. The work is done by the hot sun through the greenhouse effect. September 2006. By March 2007 the same area of ground is beginning to look civilized again.
During an April 2007 visit, Coalition volunteers monitor progress by counting kudzu crowns in one-quarter milli-acre (one-thousandths of an acre) samples. A ¼ milli-acre is the area inside the white PVC pipe shown in the first photograph, about a three foot square. The second photograph shows flagged crowns in a ¼ milli-acre sample. Count the number of flags, and multiply by 4,000 to get an estimate of the number of kudzu crowns per acre — assuming that the crown density is the same over the acre!
Student volunteers from Broome High School prepare for the work day, getting tools and putting on safety vests. April 2007.
Site custodian and Coalition volunteer Steve Patton lays out a black plastic sheet to smother residual kudzu on ground that is already well worked for kudzu removal. He uses a hedge trimmer to cut down kudzu and neaten up a border. August 2007.
Wofford College and Palmetto Conservation Foundation own property along the northern boundary of the SPACE preserve. In October of 2009, Mary Walter (Executive Director of SPACE) arranged a meeting between the three organizations to establish a partnership for kudzu removal in Glendale Shoals, an area that includes property owned by all three organizations. See our Environmental Studies Center and Glendale Greenway pages for more Coalition work in the Glendale Shoals area for the partnership.
SPACE owns property along both sides of a portion of the shoals in Lawson's Fork Creek. This is along the northern part of the preserve. There is a small infestation of kudzu on a thin layer of soil. So instead of using heavy equipment, the plan is to use surgical crown removal. The photograph shows the first kudzu encountered along the Glendale Greenway trail when walking east from Spartanburg (October 2009). A portion of Lawson's Fork Creek is visible on the right side of the photograph. Coalition volunteers and Wofford College students in the Environmental Studies program began removing this kudzu during December 2009.
VIDEO: John Lane graduated from Kudzu Kollege in 2009. John is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Wofford College, and Director of Wofford's Environmental Studies Center at Glendale Shoals. John also writes a column for the Spartanburg Journal called Kudzu Telegraph. He recorded the following video of Paul David Blakeley putting Kudzilla into action at Glendale Greenway and the preserve, near where the properties join. Click on the image to view the video. December 2009.