Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Celina Volunteer Leading Grant Project To Remove Invasive Species

A Celina volunteer has started an initiative to build more trails by removing an invasive species from Donaldson Park.

Jason Upton presented a five-year removal plan to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night. He said a shrub called the Chinese Privet has overtaken the majority of the wooded area.

“I’m here basically to get permission from the city to pursue some of these ideas,” Upton said. “I also have some contacts with the folks of the Nashville Office of the Division of Forestry that is going to help us with a grant.”

Upton said as a Division of Forestry worker himself, he has been collaborating with two people on the application.

“One of them is Hannah Hollowell, she is from the Division of Forestry,” Upton said. “She is our insect and disease specialist, but she is also fluent in writing grants, so she is going to present that grant in more detail in July. The other lady is Ashley Rowland with an urban forest non-profit. They specialize in removing those invasive species by hand and a number of other tools.”

All the city has to do is gain permission from the Army Corp of Engineers. Celina currently leases the park from the Corp. Upton said the city could receive up to $30,000 to fund the project.

“The grant is basically just sitting there waiting for us,” Upton said. “The city just needs to put together their side of what they are doing.”

The Board of Aldermen approved for Upton to pursue the grant and trail building. Upton said the grant money would fund vegetation removal by means of a skid steer and controlled burning. Upton said after removal, he would volunteer to create more trails.

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