Kudzu Crusaders Amass to Repel Invasive Species in Laurel

University of Maryland Students Gather to Help Watershed Feeding into the Chesapeake Bay

| News Release



Laurel – August 21, 2013: One-hundred-seventy University of Maryland-College Park students will gather as Kudzu Crusaders on August 29, 2013, to repel the invasive vine that wreaks havoc on local forests and waterways. The students will be weeding along Harding Road in North Laurel to help the Patuxent River and part of its riparian buffer created by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).

This is the third year that the students are battling the kudzu. Their efforts are evident in the noticeable decline of the kudzu and the new trees that have sprouted in the forest. Introduced in the late 1800’s from Asia, kudzu smothers shrubs and trees, weighing them down during storms.

The trees and shrubs help cool river temperatures, allowing the river to hold more oxygen as well as provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. The prolific vines grow as much as a foot per day during summer months, climbing trees, power poles, and anything else with which they come in contact.

Mostly incoming freshmen, the Kudzu Crusaders are spending their first day of college giving back to the community as part of the university’s “Service Day.” The students are members of the CIVICUS and College Park Scholars programs.

This is the third year that WSSC has sponsored this type of project with the university. The students will also learn about the importance of riparian buffers from Angela Morales, Planning Specialist, Howard County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services.

WSSC sponsors a number of volunteer opportunities in the fall and spring to help the environment. Nearly all of these opportunities are approved for service learning hours. Go to wsscwater.com for more information.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.


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