GPS 92. 9083 W 45.0029 N
This point is on the Inner Loop, a short distance to the South is Sign 2, on the Outer Loop. To the North and West is the Oak / Maple forest. To the East is Sign 14 with access to the northern part of the Park. To the West is Sign 16, and the view on the downslope of this trail segment is the big un-named pond in the center of the Park.
Sign #15 It’s So Invasive
One of the most devastating threats to the diversity of Sunfish Lake Park consists of unwanted pests, non-native plants and animals that may spread out of control and take over an area. These plants and animals originally come from a different area, usually transported through some sort of human activity, and they do not have “natural enemies” in the new area. Once these ‘exotic’ plants take over an area, native plants often have a difficult time competing for nutrients, sunlight and water. Non-native plants often start to grow in disturbed areas where there is a lack of existing native plants such as old fields or roadways and often become invasive and form monocultures, areas of little diversity that harm and disrupt the natural ecosystem. Invasive plants are usually a poor substitute for native species and often do not provide the same types of nutrients and habitat that is needed for wildlife since they did not evolve together. Two examples of invasive plants that exist in Sunfish Lake Park are garlic mustard and buckthorn, both brought to the US by European settlers. In this part of the trail, you can see how invasive buckthorn has filled the understory on the north side of the trail leading to a dense stand of foliage. In contrast, to the south of the trail, an extensive buckthorn removal project was conducted in 2020 to restore the native habitat. For more detailed information on that project, go to this page https://sminc-lake-elmo.org/buckthorn/