Vail to combat noxious weeds
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL –The town of Vail has received a grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service to battle noxious weeds on town-owned land need Red Sandstone Elementary School.
The $8,000 grant will be used to treat a 75-acre hillside between Red Sandstone Elementary School and the town of Vail Public Works shops. The area is bordered by Interstate 70 to the south and the White River National Forest to the north.
Town landscape architect Gregg Barrie says the hillside has a healthy population of native plants, but several noxious weed species, particularly musk and plumeless thistles, have begun to invade the land.
Removing the invasive species should protect the native habitat from further infestations, Barrie says.
The control work will begin in June and will consist of targeted herbicide application and a release of insects that feed only on thistles. The town received a similar grant last year to help address infestations of yellow toadflax within the Katsos open space area in East Vail as well as a leafy spurge outbreak in the Potato Patch neighborhood.
The grant program focuses on stopping the spread of noxious weeds to U.S. Forest Service lands. The town is also working aggressively to reduce the spread of weeds elsewhere within the community. Efforts will continue this season to control weeds on over 250 acres of open space, plus along 32 miles of residential roadways, 11 miles of frontage road areas, 12 miles of recreation paths and in natural areas of Vail°s parks.
Treatments include the use of herbicides, insects and in some areas, hand-pulling. The town also reseeds treated areas with native grasses to reduce bare ground that invites new infestations. In addition, the town is once again offering free on-site inspections to help Vail property owners and residents identify noxious weeds growing on their property.
A list of Vail°s most common noxious weeds and more information can be found at http://www.vailgov.com/weeds.