The Sam Ozer Memorial Project

Above: The AFTER picture (note the large stump for reference). 50 plants and trees went into the ground in an area previously covered in invasive japanese knotweed.

Below: The BEFORE picture. Volunteers take a break from removing the massive stands of japanese knotweed.

The Sam Ozer Memorial Project is one of WRV’s newest restoration sites. In October 2020 volunteers began to clear invasive exotic plants from a new site along the trail between Historic Rittenhousetown and Blue Bell. Now, in an area that had once been blanketed by a dense monoculture of Japanese knotweed, a small forest – Sam’s Forest – is beginning to grow.

This used to be a dense thicket of Japanese knotweed.

After clearing the area of Japanese knotweed, volunteers planted a variety of native plants including fast-growing, shade intolerant trees (bigtooth aspen and gray birch), shade tolerant trees (pin oak, chestnut oak, hackberry, sweet birch, and American basswood), and trees and shrubs which will form a persistent understory (pawpaw, American hornbeam, witch-hazel, American elderberry, shadbush, and arrowwood viburnum).

Volunteers replaced the Japanese knotweed monoculture with a diverse mix of native trees and shrubs.

Of course, this is only the beginning for the Sam Ozer Memorial Project. Like our nearby Historic Rittenhousetown site, this new site is under intense pressure from Japanese knotweed, porcelain berry, and other invasive exotic plants. WRV volunteers will be working to protect and maintain the native plants on this site for years to come.


Thank you for reading! Please consider supporting our work. Your donation will help keep the Wissahickon green and diverse, and all donations are Tax deductible.

COVID-19 Update

This spring we will begin leading small volunteer crews to help with our restoration work in the Wissahickon. Masks will be required and we will follow social distancing guidelines.

To see what volunteer events we have scheduled and to sign up to join us, check out our Events page >

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WRV is a member-supported nonprofit dedicated to protecting and improving the natural environment of the Wissahickon.

Please join us in keeping our beloved Wissahickon green and diverse for future generations.