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Keweenaw Wild Ones stresses importance of native plants

Plant this, don’t plant that! Sigrid Resh from Michigan Tech and the Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area (KISMA) will be giving a presentation on the subject tomorrow evening. The virtual talk is being sponsored by Keweenaw Wild Ones. Marcia Goodrich says that unfortunately some of the area’s most popular plantings can have large negative unintended consequences for the Copper Country.

Lilly of the Valley is a pretty bad invasive species, and so is periwinkle. Japanese barberry, which is a very popular shrub, can also escape into the woods.

Nonnative plants spread in different ways. Many rely on wildlife to do most of the work. What start as berries, turn into seeds as they pass through the digestive tract of birds, or even foxes.

They will set berries, they’ll set fruit, and birds will eat them. Birds will do what birds do. Squirrels can get them and bury them. So can chipmunks.

Goodrich was at the public hearing for Hancock’s new zoning ordinance Monday night. She praised the emphasis placed on using native species in landscaping and other beautification efforts in the document.

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