Friday, June 26, 2009

How To Remove Poison Ivy Safely: Tips for Removing Poison Ivy

Thanks to Ann Schertz for this important information:

The saying goes: "Leaflets three, let them be," but if poison ivy invades your garden or property, it's not so easy to ignore. You're better off just removing poison ivy altogether. Accidental contact with the leaves can leave a painful rash on bare skin, making this one weed that's just too risky to have around. Even if you prefer to garden organically, a chemical weed killer is the fastest, most effective method of removing poison ivy.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Depends on size of poison ivy patch. May have to be repeated more than once.

Here's How: Know the enemy. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a native North American plant that takes several forms. On most of the continent, it's a climbing or trailing perennial vine. In Western states, it's a shrubby bush that grows to about 3 feet. The leaves, which grow on alternate sides of each stem, come in sets of 3 glossy-green leaflets that can be pointed, smooth-sided, lobed or saw-toothed. Early in spring the leaves are red, and in fall they turn a bright scarlet-orange. The 1/4-inch fruits are dull yellow. For an in-depth identification of poison ivy and its imposters, see my HYPERLINK for pictures of poison ivy.

Dress for battle. All parts of the plant contain a toxic resin that causes a blistering rash on any part of your body it touches. So when removing poison ivy, always wear rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants tucked into socks and boots or shoes that can be hosed off later. Goggles and a breathing mask are also recommended when removing poison ivy.

Time your attack. A dry day with no wind is the safest time for removing poison ivy, especially if you will be using an herbicide spray (you don't want the herbicide blowing back at you, nor do you want it blowing on landscape plants).

Cut plants to ground level. With shears or pruners, remove all the stems you can see and dispose of them in plastic garbage bags. Don't tear or rip the vines as this may disperse the resin into the air.

Dig out roots if you can. If there are only a few plants to remove, use the shovel to remove the roots. Bag these also for removal.

Destroy what's left. If you have many plants spread over a large area, cut as much of the top growth as you can, and then spray the remaining roots, stems and stubs with a chemical weed killer containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) or triclopyr (such as Ortho's Brush-B-Gon). For thick, shrubby stems, spray directly onto the cuts you've made. Remember to use extreme care when handling these herbicides, as the spray will kill all other garden plants it touches. Always follow the directions on the label for safest use.

Dispose of properly. Do not compost, shred or burn poison ivy. Inhaling the smoke can cause serious injury to your lungs. Put the plant parts in heavy plastic bags, tie the bags securely and put them in the trash. If you used rubber gloves, discard these as well.

Disinfect your clothes and your tools. Tools used for removing poison ivy must be disinfected. Rinse your pruners and shovel, including the handles, with rubbing alcohol. Let them dry and then oil the parts to prevent rust. Likewise, the clothes you have on while removing poison ivy must be cleaned. Wash your clothing separately and clean your boots or shoes with cold, soapy water and a hose.

Tips: Poison ivy is a perennial plant that grows back from the roots and often spreads by means of underground runners. Removing poison ivy -- if it's a vigorous stand -- may take three or four tries. If your skin comes into contact with the weed while you're removing poison ivy, wash the affected area with a strong soap, using cold water only (hot water opens your pores and allows the toxin to seep in). Hardware stores and drugstores have specialty soaps that can remove the poison sap. Treat a rash with a drying lotion (such as calamine) or one recommended specifically for poison ivy rash.

What You Need: Rubber gloves, tightly woven long-sleeve shirt and pants, Long socks, Shoes or boots that can be washed or hosed off, Goggles and breathing mask, Sharp pruning shears or a hand pruner, Sharp-edged shovel, Heavy black plastic garbage bags and ties, Herbicide containing glyphosate or triclopyr (e.g., Roundup, Ortho Brush-B-Gon), Rubbing alcohol.

Ann Schertz 327.3402 Mia Martin 345.1585

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bryan Park Creek Naturalization Maintenance

Reminder from Tonia:
Wednesday, July 1

The City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department earned Community Wildlife Habitat certification from the National Wildlife Federation last year. The Bryan Park Creek naturalized area played a key role in certification and requires periodic maintenance to control invasive species and ensure native plant success.

Duties: Volunteers assist with monthly upkeep of this natural area! Help maintain the native plants along beautiful Bryan Park Creek.

Program Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Location: Bryan Park, 1001 S. Henderson St. — Henderson Shelter

Age of volunteers: 12 yrs. and up (Children under age 12 yrs. must be accompanied by an adult.)

Number of volunteers: 5-30

Other: Sign up individually or as a group.

From the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Program Guide:

The Bryan Park Creek naturalized area requires periodic maintenance to control invasive species and ensure native plant success. Volunteers are needed to assist with monthly upkeep of this natural area. Workdays take place on the first Wednesday of each month, April-October. We meet at the Woodlawn Shelter at 5:30 p.m. and work until 7 p.m. Call Steve Cotter at 349-3736 for additional information.

Dates: 5/6, 6/3, 7/1, 8/5, 9/2, and 10/7
Ages: For all ages.
Location: Bryan Park, Woodlawn Shelter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Election Results

Elections were held at our June 23 meeting. Mary Miller is the new president of the BPNA. Jab Sorby will take over as vice-president. Jenny Bauer and Mary Lou Mitchell will continue to serve in their positions as Secretary and Treasurer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elections - Statements from candidates

Dear Bryan Park Neighbors,

I would be proud to serve as the Bryan Park Neighborhood Association President for 2009-10. Stepping into this role is a natural extension of the community effort I enjoyed in the creation of our new blog ( over the course of the last year. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members of the committee and look forward to the opportunity to build on our momentum. Our effort was a success, and recently won the 2009 Mayor's Excellence Award from Bloomington's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development. Keeping in mind that we still need to serve our neighbors that do not have access to the Internet, the new blog is a wonderful tool for community-building. Looking forward, it could be opened up for new features or content (sustainability information? services directory?) by others in the neighborhood. I would see my role as president to help foster the group participation that will make the neighborhood association a vital resource for all our neighbors.


Mary Miller

Hello Neighbors,


Greetings. May all be well. First, I would like thank Marcus Reed for a very warm and kind nomination for the upcoming BPNA elections. After much contemplation and discussion with neighborhood friends, I have come to the conclusion that I would like to accept the nomination for President of the Bryan Park Neighborhood Association.

As a representative of one of Bloomington’s best (perhaps the best) neighborhood associations, I feel like I could do a good job in service. The safety, community and happiness of all the residents of the neighborhood would be my concern.

I have contacts at all levels of local government. In my daily work, I have regular interaction with various city officials and could happily conduct neighborhood business in those moments.

In all instances, my goal would be to foster greater community participation and connection amongst its residents; to preserve and enhance the quality of life of its citizenry; and to promote transparency and openness in all communications. With all these things, I would use the filter sustainability to aid my decision making.

I humbly ask for your support in the upcoming elections on June 23rd. Thank you.

Most Sincerely,

Joe Davis

Bryan Park Elections June 23, 2009

BPNA elections will be next Tuesday, June 23rd, Free Methodist Church, 7:00 p.m. at our regular meeting. The candidates are:

  • President: Joe Davis and Mary Miller

  • Vice President: Jan Sorby

  • Secretary: Jenny Bauer

  • Treasurer: Mary Lou Mitchell

From the By-laws: A member may request an absentee ballot from the President or the Vice President and shall personally present the cast ballot to the President or the Vice President by the day of the meeting in which the vote is to be held.

Link to June 2009 Election absentee ballot (PDF).

According to BPNA bylaws, ballots must be presented in person to the President or the Vice President. Our Vice President will not be in town after Friday, but President Jan Sorby will be in town. Jan's address is 525 E. Grimes Lane and her phone number is 334-2075. Ballots left at a residence without confirmation will not be counted. Ballots must be submitted by the actual voter.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Run for Office - Election June 23


I want to encourage you to consider running for office and helping keep the neighborhood voice strong. The offices of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary are open, and nominations are now being accepted. You can nominate yourself or someone else. The slate will be published June 17 and voted on at the regular meeting on June 23. Absentee ballots are also available; see below for the process.

Community building and managing how our neighborhood develops in critical to the quality of life for yourself, family and neighbors. Below are a few reasons to consider becoming involved.

• You can help establish better communication with your neighbors. Too often, people do not even know their neighbors. BPNA gives everyone something in common. Merely getting people introduced to their neighbors will affect improvements in untold ways.

• You can help work more effectively with municipal services. In the same way that the residents benefit by working together, BPNA provides a larger forum for communicating with city government to voice concerns and solve problems.

• You can create pride in your neighborhood. Creating pride is something so basic, yet so important. Neighborhoods can easily fall into disrepair and despair. However, when people care, you will be able to maintain and improve that place that you call home.

• You can help make your neighborhood a safer place. By working together, looking out for each other, and coordinating with your police officers, neighbors can help to create a safer, more secure environment in which to live.

· To be included on an absentee ballot please notify: President, Jan Sorby ( or Vice President, Scott O’Bryan ( by June 17th.

· Absentee ballots can be requested after the 17th and must be returned in person by the day of the meeting (June 23ed), to Scott O’Bryan, 1412 S Henderson St. or Jan Sorby, 525 E. Grimes Lane.

Jan Sorby