WOODLOT MANAGEMENT & IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF INVASIVE SPECIES  - 09.16.2017

WOODLOT MANAGEMENT & IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF INVASIVE SPECIES
District Forester and Kent Conservation District's Invasive Species coordinator will guide you through must know information on tree health and invasive species identification and control. Do you know how to properly treat a patch of invading plants in your yard? The catalog will be available so participants can be advised on the suitability of their own yard for native plant success. 
 
Cost: $5 a person. 
When: Satruday, September 16th 1pm
Location: Rockford Library: 140 E Bridge St NE, Rockford, MI 
 

IMPORTANCE OF NATIVE PLANTS

As open space disappears, it becomes increasingly necessary to look at our own landscapes as a refuge for biodiversity.  Native organisms including plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, and insects create an intricate web of life. This is a wonderful natural orchestration with each species’ life cycle highly dependent on the others.

For example: Spring wild flowers are pollinated by and provide nectar to tiny flies. These flies become food for early spring birds. The timing is orchestrated perfectly.  It is not a coincidence that the local native plants have seeds and berries ready just when the birds need them.  Bird droppings are the best way to get their seed dispersed.  Plants and animals that have evolved together depend upon each other for survival.

Unfortunately, native plants, a vital part of the natural web of life, are being lost at an alarming rate.  Removing a certain native plant from the landscape will likely remove the insect that feeds on that plant, which in turn may eradicate the bird that feeds on that insect.  And this is just a simplified example.

The loss of a species can quickly escalate to affect an entire ecosystem.  To paraphrase Paul Ehrlich, author of Native Plants: Relationship of Biodiversity to the Function of the Biosphere, removing native species from an ecosystem is like taking rivets out of an airplane wing; it is impossible to know which one will be the last one that was holding the whole thing together.

There are real and practical pay-offs to encouraging a more biologically diverse yard.  Healthy, balanced ecosystems clean our water and our air.  Pollinators are vital to food production.

There are also other profound reasons for using native plants in our yards.  Aesthetically and spiritually, native plants enhance our sense of place.  Native plants are one of the most visible elements in the local landscape. They are part of what makes a region unique.  Learning and growing native plants promotes a deeper understanding and respect for the land.