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Grant Aims To Rid Cortlandt Sanctuary Of Invasive Vine

Leaves of the invasive hardy kiwi vine, which will be removed from Brinton Brook Sanctuary.
Leaves of the invasive hardy kiwi vine, which will be removed from Brinton Brook Sanctuary. Photo Credit:

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – A project developed by Saw Mill River Audubon in partnership with Trillium Invasive Species Management Inc. was awarded a $9,550 grant from the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management to eradicate the invasive hardy kiwi vine in the Brinton Brook Sanctuary.

Hardy kiwi is considered a priority emerging invasive by the Lower Hudson PRISM because of its potential to completely dominate mature woodlands.

“The presence of hardy kiwi at our Brinton Brook Sanctuary in Croton was first identified by Audubon volunteers Rudy Fasciani and Karalyn Lamb. This grant award is the result of Karalyn Lamb’s excellent work to research this invasive plant and secure funding and expert help to eradicate it,” said Anne Swaim, Saw Mill River Audubon’s executive director.

Lamb is also a board member of Saw Mill River Audubon. Thomas Lewis, principal of Trillium Invasive Species Management Inc., notes that while it is significant that the vine has managed to reproduce and spread successfully to multiple locations in the town of Cortlandt, there are at least 14 patches in and around Brinton Brook Sanctuary.

“Rapid response to the plant’s escape will help ensure that it doesn’t become widespread and add to the list of plants like barberry or bittersweet that land managers will have to deal with for years to come,” said Lewis.

Lewis, considered a local expert on hardy kiwi, was awarded LHPRISM funding last year to eradicate an infestation of the vine in Pound Ridge. The Brinton Brook Sanctuary LHPRISM funding will pay for Trillium Invasive Species Management to eliminate three patches of hardy kiwi in the Audubon sanctuary where management by volunteer labor is not possible because of the severity of the infestation. Audubon volunteers will continue to monitor and remove additional vine patches.

Saw Mill River Audubon’s Brinton Brook Sanctuary is a 154-acre intact woodland parcel in Croton-on-Hudson surrounded by residential properties in the Hudson River watershed. A key conservation value of Brinton Brook is nesting habitat for diverse bird species such as scarlet tanagers, wood thrush, blue-winged warbler, pileated woodpecker, broad-winged hawk and wood duck.  

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