McCarty Woods Restoration

April 10, 2022 Great job everyone! Thanks so much for the large turnout. A special thanks to our many students volunteers who really have made so much of the progress possible. The mulch on the north side and trail look great. More new plants planted—it is even getting hard to find large cats claw vines to cut…wow!

March 30, 2022 Hi folks. Many of you worked hard to clear the north edge of the woods of cats claw…many hours removing one plant at a time. Well good news. We surveyed what is now the north edge of the woods and there are remarkable signs of life where the catsclaw was removed. Ash seedlings, our native honeysuckle and Ipomea; a seedling of an oak (Q. velutina) and black cherry- neither had been previously reported from the woods. We found two elm seedlings (we have several large elms but we had not found any seedlings previously), small plants of our native mulberry and a resurgence of violets. Help give the woods a chance and there will be recovery!

March 20, 2022 Thanks all for a great turnout and another productive day in the woods. More shrubs/trees planted and lots of cats claw cut and removed- we could spot them in flower which helped us target some large vines we had missed previously. Many of you commented on how much progress we’ve made since last August. Hard to believe how hard it is now to find privet. We removed 10 that were growing back-that was it. The plants we put in last month look good!

We watered the plants you all put in during our February outing (they look great). Plus a few more small trees and shrubs planted. Also a kiosk sign replaced and plexiglass front repaired.

March 5, 2022 Just a quick update that our small trees/shrubs are doing well. Some photos attached of new leaves on plants breaking dormancy.

February 12, 2022 Thanks for the great turnout today. As several students pointed out this was historic – after six months of taking out plants that don’t belong we began putting in ones that do! Well said. Lots of neat shrubs and understory trees planted and watered today. For some folks these were the first trees they had ever planted – very cool! All plants were noted on iNaturalist thanks to Meryl (link below). Emilio tagged everything as well so that we can continue to monitor these plants.

 We have some great trees to plant: persimmon, red buckeye, pignut hickory, green ash, possum haw, sweet gum, swamp chestnut oak, beauty berry, muscle wood (blue beech) and more.

Stay tuned for more updates- many of you signed up to be part of the water brigade. That will be critical in the weeks ahead.

If you want to check out some of the species recorded recently in the woods check out the awesome iNaturalist site for McCarty Woods:

Our plantings today can be found at:

The link to give is:

January 30, 2022 A quick note to say thanks again for a great turnout on such a cold day. GREAT TO SEE SO MANY NEW FACES! 

Great progress! Narrow east-west side trails put in by hand. More invasive trees found on the west side (Camphor, Citrus, privet) and removed. And a great cats claw competition for the largest tuber – fantastic! Some nice discoveries as we remove the cats claw jungle- several more hophornbeams, small hickories and ash trees. A sideroxylon was located – so two remain in the woods!

Our next effort will be February 12– so please mark that on your schedules. Stay tuned for details! We plan to put native trees in those areas cleared of cats claw today.


Two things set up by some of our wonderful volunteers.

  1. Here is a link to a McCarty Woods collection project in iNaturalist. This will be a useful means to track species in the woods –\
  2. Here is the link to a gofundme for the Woods: This will be used to purchase plants (we will need a lot!), signage, etc in our efforts to restore the woods.

December 12, 2021 McCarty Clean up. Thanks for the turnout. What a great effort from the group today. Another huge pile of invasive trees removed from the west side. These are about the last of the larger invasive trees in the woods—what progress!!! A huge area was cleared of Tradescantia and ardisia. We also cut and treated dozens of cats claw vines!

During the cleanup today we also saw some encouraging signs – some young ash and sweet gum trees as well as 4 or 5 Ostrya (hop hornbeam). There are 4 or 5 large ash trees in McCarty- the one in the photo attached might be the largest on campus.

November 20, 2021 Thanks everyone for another great turnout…~50 people plus one helpful dog (McCarty’s Best Friend). Wow, so many helpers just before thanksgiving! It was very impressive that so many took the time to help. We cleaned the kiosks and put in new signs. We made great progress removing more invasive trees and took out lots of cats claw. With the materials provided by UF Grounds and Natural Resources we were able to immediately treat the trees and vines that we cut so they will not grow back. We opened up an old trail — with more work in December it should be ready for use. We also tagged some native trees on the edge of the woods that we want to make sure are protected (soap berry, red bay, tilia).

As background, we met with the LVL committee to request permission to begin reintroduction of native plants to McCarty woods. They will grant permission if we can get enough names on the attached letter (link) to show that we have a lot of volunteers willing to help water these new plants for a few critical months early next year. It should not be a big-time commitment-especially if we get a lot of folks to sign on in support. And if it rains that makes it even easier!  


October 17, 2021 Thanks again for the great turn-out. October was a huge success, our biggest group to date! 

Our focus will be removing more invasive plants—we are now moving more into the west side in addition to our initial focus on the east side of the woods given our success so far; we have made great progress so let’s keep it up! 

February 25, 2021 McCarty Woods, 1.9 acres of woods was under consideration for removal from conservation status as part of the new campus master plan, and the potential conversion of this area to other uses would be a major loss. Through promoting awareness of the plant diversity in the Woods and tagging some of the large trees close to the trails using tags with scientific and common names, McCarty Woods has been designated for conservation and restoration.