Improvements made to Woodland Park

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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TRYON—Greetings from Woodland Park in Tryon, where there have been some slow, yet significant changes.  

A selection of native plants have been introduced around the IGA entrance to the park, and magnolias have been added along Carolina Drive. Along the stream flowing near the Pacolet, a dam was restored to prominence. The dam’s history is unknown, but it was revealed after the removal of many fallen trees. Finally,  a concerted effort is underway to rid the small park of its worst nemesis, wisteria.  

Japanese wisteria was introduced to the southern United States around 1830 as an ornamental and decorative addition to porches, gazebos, walls and gardens. As many of us are aware, in the spring it produces fragrant flowers, its lone redeeming value. 

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 Nestled just off the beaten path at Woodland Park, wisteria has been left to its own devices and has made a substantive case for its vilification. Trees know of this invader for its strangulating encirclement of its trunk and its perilous leaves obscuring the life-giving sun. We should not allow English ivy, kudzu, bittersweet, honeysuckle and wisteria to their own devices. Allowing it to scale, strangle and eventually obliterate what is valued most about our native surroundings is ecologically insane.

 If found on your property, the public is asked to identify and cut these marauders at or near their base and apply a concentrated herbicide onto the cut surface within minutes to allow the living tissue of the vine to absorb the chemical. It does work.  

A good mnemonic to remember which vines to cut is, ‘Better Kill It With Herbicide’ (Bittersweet, Kudzu, Ivy, Wisteria, Honeysuckle).

The Polk County Appearance Commission partners with local governments, volunteers, community groups and art groups to collectively support efforts resulting in Polk County being clean, beautiful and inviting for all. The Commission works under the authority of the Polk County Board of Commissioners. It is an all-volunteer body serving in an advisory role, providing guidance and leadership in matters of community design and appearance. 

The Commission is currently chaired by Joe Cooper, and partners with Garden Clubs to support beautification projects in Polk County. Learn more about past PCAC matching grants to eradicate kudzu, another invasive species, in Polk County at

For more information, please email



Submitted by Polk County Appearance Commission