Due to the proliferation of invasive plant species that are smuggled into the United States each year we are under attack in our own Cleveland Metroparks. Invasive species harm our local ecosystems, crowd out native plants and require constant and costly management and control by the park district.
In a new effort to battle one invasive species, the Cleveland Metroparks and Mitchell’s Ice Cream has teamed up for a tasty solution…eating them!
Mitchell’s is now selling an exclusive sundae that is topped with an exclusive sauce made from wineberry fruit. Wineberry is an invasive plant that is already threatening local plant life.
"By harvesting the wineberry fruit, we are able to prevent it from reproducing. We would like to harvest this plant until it's gone from our wild areas. It's nice to be able to put this invasive weed to good use." said Jennifer Hillmer, Cleveland Metroparks Invasive Plant Coordinator.
In 2012, Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources staff treated and removed invasive plants from an area covering 1,400 acres.
"We're excited to partner with Cleveland Metroparks on this innovative collaboration. Rather than throwing away the harvested wineberries, we've used them to make a delicious sundae topping!" said Pete Mitchell, co-founder of Mitchell's Ice Cream.
The wineberry topping will be available until it's gone at Mitchell's Rocky River and Uptown at University Circle locations. One dollar from each sale will go towards Cleveland Metroparks Endowment Fund.