Protecting a natural legacy

Eden Prairie / Minnetonka, Minnesota
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Buckthorn Programs


Friends of Birch Island Woods encourages people to participate in the stewardship of public natural areas. Any project on any public parkland, however, must first by authorized by the pertinent government agency or department.

FBIW can help your group or neighbors join an exiting program or devise a new project to help native Minnesota plants, trees and shrubs in Birch Island Woods or other Eden Prairie parks and conservation areas recover from garlic mustard and buckthorn. Buckthorn pulls (a branch of it is pictured to the right) are worthy and fun ways to become involved. Read on.


The EP Parks Department considers proposals for buckthorn, garlic mustard and litter removal in its parks and conservation areas including Birch Island Woods. Opportunities for wood chip trail construction, native plant replacement are few.

For suggestions and guidelines on how to get a project going contact:

To volunteer for the Wetland Health Evaluation Project contact

EP Envirnnmental Coordinator Leslie Stovring

To remove invasive plants from the Preserve Association’s common parkland contact
General Manager Susan Dickman 952-941-8400


The removal of buckthorn, Asian honeysuckle, garlic mustard and other plants in public parks, conservation areas, open spaces, wildlife management areas, state and regional parks and the MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge or home owner association properties is strictly prohibited without written permission from the managing entity. Contact the relevant officials for permission before beginning any removal efforts of your own.

Jean Buckley, 952-563-8751. Bloomington’s Adopt-a-Park Program enables citizens to clear buckthorn from city parks. Call Ms. Buckley or visit the city’s web site at Type in keywords like “buckthorn” or “weed wrench” in the search box and go from there.

City Forester, Tom Horwath is City Hall’s point person for all things buckthorn, Weed Wrenches and garlic mustard in Edina. 852-826-0308.

Conservation League of Edina
The CLE is committed to monitoring, preserving and improving the natural environment in Edina. Along with the Edina Garden Council and the League of Women Voters, CLE also takes on buckthorn. The CLE Web site:

Rosland Park (Lake Cornelia) Restoration Project
The Minneapolis office of Olsson Associates and the City of Edina are partnering to restore the native ecosystem of the wooded natural area on the west side of upper Lake Cornelia above 66th Street. The national consulting company is performing similar volunteer service in Burnsville’s Terrace Oaks Park to restore a degraded oak savanna. Participating in the project are organizations like the Conservation League of Minnesota and individual tree huggers.

For more information, Contact Kevin Clay at or 847-903-2185 or Edina Forester Tom Horwath at 952-826-0308.

Al Lundstrom, Environmental Coordinator, 763-593-8046

Minnetonka’s Natural Resources division is responsible for the city’s reforestation, diseased tree removal, and water resources. Click here to learn about the City invasive species removal and natural resources restoration programs:

Buckthorn, garlic mustard and other invasives --
Janet Larson, Natural resources restoration specialist, 952-988-8423

Minnetonka Brush Drop Off Program --
Dean Elstad, Recycling & Trails Coordinator, 952-988-8430

Residents of Minnetonka can drop off cut buckthorn, honeysuckle or other brush for recycling from April 15h through November 18th at the City’s Public Works facility, 11522 Minnetonka Blvd. Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 pm; Mondays and Tuesdays from noon to 8 p.m. The service is not available for commercial companies. The recycling site accepts branches and trunks up to 12 inches in diameter BUT DOES NOT ACCEPT loose leaves, grass, dirt, lumber, sod or root balls with dirt.

Scenic Heights Outdoor Learning Center
Scenic Heights Elementary School next to Purgatory Park in Minnetonka boasts 4.3 acres of open space that includes forest, wetland and prairie ecosystems. A committee of teachers and parents has coordinated volunteers since the summer of 2005 to adapt the area into an Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) for students and the community at large. Their activities include liberating the area of buckthorn, garlic mustard and other invasives.

Click here to visit the OLC’s website

Yard waste recycling drop-off site 14900-23rd Ave N.
For info contact Plymouth recycling 763-509-5950,


FBIW's buckthorn and native plant seminars and its buckthorn, honeysuckle & garlic mustard abatement workshops and pulls are based at Eden Wood Lodge next to Birch Island Woods and Glen Lake Golf Center.

Check the events calendar for current and future programs and driving directions

Our first Buckthorn 101 Seminar in February 15, 2002 featured Master gardener and horticultural consultant Janet Larson and EP Forestry’s Jeff Cordes.

Larson provided a full house of 72 attendees a slide show primer on the invader’s history and spread in America (scary stuff) explaining why it does so well in Minnesota. Later the knowledgeable buckthorn buster and her equally qualified and impassioned cohort Jeff Cordes talked about buckthorn identification and chemical and mechanical removal techniques

After a java, bagel and Danish break, the duo, to a Gershwin march provided by MC Jeff Strate, headed into buckthorn infested areas of the Birch Island Woods for on-site buckthorn identification tips and more Q and A time.

The event was the first of a series workshops and seminars for residents of the southwest suburbs including those who will become part of the city certified, buckthorn removal forays into the Birch Island Woods Conservation Area.

Click here to our Buckthorn section.

Click here to our Garlic Mustard section.


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