Mountain Laurel Montessori students battle invasive plants

As part of their twice annual war against invasive plant species, students from Mountain Laurel Montessori have focused their efforts along the Appalachian Trail, removing autumn olive, an attractive plant that still is a serious danger to Virginia’s native plant populations.

Each fall and spring fifth and sixth graders from the school battle alongside volunteers from the National Park Service to help eradicate the invasive species.

Park rangers Ted Pryor and Wendy Ebserberger led the students’ latest skirmish. Pryor gave the students a detailed history of the introduction and progression of autumn olive and the effectiveness of volunteer efforts. The students took great pride in the impact they saw from their day’s work and look forward to focusing their efforts again next spring.

Mountain Laurel Montessori School is a non-profit independent school that educates children from infancy through ninth grade. According to its mission statement, the school strives to guide children to become joyful, life-long learners and engaged, compassionate citizens of a diverse world community. For more information, visit or call 540-636-4257.

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