Some of you may have seen Lynnhurst resident Jim Nicholas with his bike and trailer full of tools working on the grounds at Burroughs Community School, on the east side of Lake Harriet, in Roberts Bird Sanctuary or even around Bde Maka Ska. Jim has spent a lot of time in these areas in recent years removing or pruning buckthorn and other invasive species. Jim has an independent stewardship agreement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and in 2018 logged more than 440 hours on invasive species removal and clean-up. 2019 will be Jim’s fourth season doing this valued work. And while Burroughs School is not park property, Jim felt it was in need of some extra attention beyond what the school maintenance budget allows.
Jim’s interest in helping to eliminate invasive species began several years ago with the annual fall Buckthorn Bust sponsored by the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association Environmental Committee (2018 was the 8th annual event). As he commuted along Minnehaha Creek and the lakes, he began to see buckthorn growing everywhere. After he retired, Jim set out to make a difference by personally attacking the problem.
In addition to the important work of trying to reduce invasive species, Jim has been cleaning up the southeast beach at Lake Harriet and the east beach and south parking area at Bde Maka Ska. This has involved such tasks as cleaning up goose droppings, picking up litter and raking up milfoil that has washed ashore.
Jim enjoys his volunteer work and encourages others with the time and inclination to get involved. He also says that you don’t need to go far from home to make a difference—you can clean up your alley or the street in front of your property. All of these contributions are important in helping the park board and city maintain our numerous parks and public spaces. Many residents have noticed Jim’s efforts and are grateful for his dedication, so if you see him out working to keep our areas attractive, stop to say hi and say thanks!