Civic ecology with Cardno’s participation discussed in online publication
Each year the Indianapolis Lilly Day of Service (LDOS) involves thousands of volunteers to remove the invasive Amur bush honeysuckle in one day.
This “civic ecology” action was the subject of a paper, Community Involvement to Address a Long-standing Invasive Species Problem: Aspects of Civic Ecology in Practice, published in the September 2015 issue of Ecological Restoration, an online publication of the University of Wisconsin. It discusses the community-driven program to remove 760 m3 of invasive honeysuckle along 30 acres of the banks of Fall Creek. Cardno’s Restoration services team provided vital vegetative management technical support, training, and supervision for the correct and safe application of herbicides.
Following months of planning and coordination by Lilly Day of Service (LDOS) and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) with other partners in Indianapolis that included civic organizations, universities, and local companies, including Cardno, the community-based effort tackled the long-developing environmental impacts of the invasive species, described as visual and biological pollution.
Integral to an effective civic ecology practice, the paper asserts, is the interdisciplinary interaction of individuals, communities, governmental institutions, and the ecosystems in which these practices take place. The honeysuckle removal served ecological and environmental goals of removing an invasive species, but it also helped foster in citizens a sense of place and connection with Indianapolis’s waterways, reflecting local history, and culture. Aspects of the project can serve as a model for action in other cities.
Since 1976, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has engaged and empowered residents in Indianapolis to preserve its natural beauty and to create vibrant public places through various programs. Each year, KIB supports an average of 500 community improvement projects with more than 30,000 volunteers. For the past three decades, KIB has partnered with neighborhoods, the public sector, and Indianapolis community groups and businesses across the city.
Lilly Day of Service, the volunteer arm of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, headquartered in Indianapolis, is one of the largest single-day volunteer programs in the world. The Indianapolis program began in 2008 as a partnership with KIB to engage the company’s employees in major beautification projects. Cardno has worked with KIB and LDOS since 2010, providing native plants, restoration expertise, and vegetative maintenance planning.
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