A determined 10-year-old Adeline Finke on Thursday addressed her enemy as she killed it.
"Die, honeysuckle," Adeline said with force, attacking the plant. "I'm going to send you back to Japan or wherever you came from."
She was one of 40 youth ages 9-13 on Thursday who participated in a project to remove invasive honeysuckle from the area along Flat Branch Creek, near Flat Branch Park in downtown Columbia as part of a Missouri River Relief summer camp.
There's a lot of it.
"It's a jungle in there," said a passing trail walker.
"This is what we're cutting today," said Bybee, holding a honeysuckle limb. "It took over our forests. It took over our parks. This problem with this is it makes it hard for native plants to grow"
It can also take nutrients from the soil needed by trees.
The invasive plant is native to Asia and Russia.
It didn't take long for the campers to clear large areas.
"You guys see the difference you're making already?" said Hilary Myers, leading a team of campers.
She's a River Relief volunteer, a Missouri Master Naturalist and will teach eighth-grade science at West Middle School starting next month.
"It's extremely important to get our youth out into the community and out into nature," Myers said of the project.
Adeline's mission continued.
"I cleared out my whole yard of honeysuckle," Adeline said. "I'm an expert at this."
She explained in an interview that the yard clearance was a family project during the pandemic.
"I'm happy to get to do it," Adeline said of the activity. "I don't believe in waiting for somebody else to do something. You have to do it."
She was teamed up with Charlie Ulmasov, 10.
"It's a pretty nice project," Charlie said. "It's helping nature a lot. It's helping plants grow."
Another enthusiastic participant was Jonah Epstein, 12.
"I think it's really great," he said. "And it's really fun to help out nature."
Roger McKinney is the Tribune's education reporter. You can reach him at email@example.com or 573-815-1719. He's on Twitter at @rmckinney9.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: What Missouri Relief campers did to help nature in downtown Columbia