Welcome to National Invasive Species Awareness Week! The campaign is an annual program led by the North American Invasive Species Management Association (or NAISMA for short).
This week is an international program to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. There are events all around the country, which you can find out more about on the program’s site here.
At the state level, Ohio passed a set of Rules to prohibit the sale and distribution of invasive plants which became effective on January 7, 2018, but some of the species on the new list of 38 species had a “grace period” to allow businesses to move some of their stock.
An invasive species can be defined as “plant species that are not native to Ohio whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health as determined by scientific studies”. The Ohio Invasive Plants Council has more information about several species around the state.
Zooming in even closer to home, I’ve partnered with Friends of Euclid Creek to create an invasive trade-up program for the Euclid Creek Watershed that will hopefully convince you to make the leap and cut down that Bradford Pear (or any other woody invasive species!) and then come get a free native tree or shrub from us to replace it.
With spring around the corner, now is a great time to look around your property and see if you might have any unwanted invasive species nearby. Garlic mustard, lesser celandine, and bush honeysuckles are some of the first species to green up so they can be easier to identify this time of year.
And if you do happen to find some garlic mustard and want to take a taste, go to the Google for some recipes and get cookin'.
All photos are from MichiganFlora.net
Blog author: Kate Chapel, Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator