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When you hear the word ‘invasive’, what do you think of?

We have invasive plants, invasive animals, invasive insects. Invasive species as I learned it means 1) not of the local environment (non-native) and 2) known to cause harm both environmentally and economically. Douglas Tallamy has been on a mission to refer to these plants as "introduced" species. ​ There are a few more descriptors for invasives, or introduced species, but these are adequate for our purposes. Invasive plants have certainly been getting more bandwidth in gardening circles and in mainstream media as our understanding of their drawbacks expands. ​

Connecticut has several groups that work to define and help manage these plant pests, one of them being CIPWG (Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group) though UCONN. They have an excellent website for reference and reporting if you are interested. They also have an extremely useful calendar that helps define the best time and method for battling the most common invasives in our area. For example, Japanese knotweed should be cut three times during the growing season to minimize seed load, and garlic mustard should be pulled and removed before seed pods form following flowering. Local groups, including ours, have embraced the fight to manage invasives, too. By creating our Cheshire Pollinator Pathway garden at North Brooksvale Road, and by endeavoring to create the new garden project across the street, we hope to reduce and ultimately remove several pernicious species that wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. ​ By working on this habitat restoration, we might return the area to an improved native state. This, in turn benefits all native pollinators, bees and birds, well, you now the story! So let’s stay on top of these beasts to help maintain a more native environment wherever we can. I am already pulling up garlic mustard by the bagful!!! Perseverance will hopefully pay off!

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