Friday, July 7, 2017

Invasive Species Awareness Week July 9-15

So far this summer has been rain with just enough sun to grow everything I’ve planted and sprout other seeds I never knew existed. Since I like the weeds and wildflowers (Joe-pye weed, milkweed, bunchberry, and wild wintergreen), I just leave the unidentified plants alone.  I save wildflowers from the center of our yard by transplanting them into flowerbeds or alongside our house, fences, and roadside.

Since not all non-native plants are invasive, it’s important to find out what plants are causing harm to the environment and make sure I’m not contributing to the problem. I don’t want to bring anything into the yard that is considered an Adirondack invasive, I’ve always taken advantage of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension team of master gardeners to answer questions, look at samples, and provide a bevy of useful information. I want my garden to be a safe haven for any pollinators.

Other great resources are the Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, Boat Wash Station volunteers/educators, and New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW). Now in its fourth year, ISAW is conducting provides workshops, educational films, an extensive resource website, as well as a mobile app for identifying invasive plants.

From July 9-15, 2017, ISAW is focusing on the largest invasive issues affecting New York State. In the Adirondacks, the focus includes everything from an active Water Chestnut Pull along Lake Champlain to Terrestrial Invasive Plant Identification training to report invasive sightings.

A person doesn’t even have to leave his/her house to learn more about Adirondack invasives; webinars and a vast website provides an in-depth resource for keeping the Adirondacks’ forests, fields, and waterways free of invasive species.

I find that the St. John’s Wort and orange hawkweed that dot my yard are both non-native. That doesn’t mean that I need to pull up every plant that manages to grow in my yard, but it does mean that I always need to do my research. My mystery seedlings turn out to nothing alarming, just some squirrel transplanting my neighbor’s compost into my flower bed.

Here is the complete list of all the events and activities planned for New York Invasive Species Awareness week.  With just a little bit of work we can all help stop the spread of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals throughout the Adirondacks.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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