Photo courtesy of our friends at Save the Bay.
What do you love most about California’s diverse landscapes? Hiking in the mountains? Building sand castles and surfing at the beach? Fishing at your favorite lake?
Now imagine visiting your favorite California spot to find it awash with invasive species that are ravaging the landscape. Unfortunately, this isn’t some imagined dystopia – it’s the reality California’s environment faces if we don’t proactively work to prevent the spread of invasive plants. These pesky plants are, after all, the second-greatest threat to biodiversity in California, after human development.
“Invasive plants are like champion Olympians – higher, faster, stronger,” explains Jan Merryweather, PlantRight’s Project Manager. “They are the first to get to the sun, their seed production is prolific and they often replace the natural forage for our native animals and insects. Some clog waterways; some can even alter soil composition.”
And that’s where PlantRight comes in. Its retail nursery partnership program aims to empower California nurseries and retailers to prevent the spread of ornamental invasive plants. PlantRight also maintains a list of beautiful, non-invasive alternatives that are safe for California.
This year, PlantRight also had a great helping hand from the Sustainable Conservation network during a crowdfunding campaign aimed at buying out one major retailer’s stock of Mexican feathergrass. This emerging invasive is at great risk to California’s native habitat, its waterways and could fuel wildfires. With your help, we raised nearly $20,000 and were able to purchase and destroy thousands of these plants.
Join us in 2015 to continue these efforts. Whether it is finding alternatives to invasive plants in your own garden, donating to Sustainable Conservation or engaging us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, your support is integral.
Together, we can ensure fewer invasive plants make it into nurseries and our gardens. That means our favorite landscapes – and the plants, wildlife and waterways occupying them – can do more than exist; your help ensures they can thrive.