Natural Planting is Encouraged

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The Nature Conservancy, North Shore Land Alliance, Long Island Farm Bureau, Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association and the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects are encouraging gardeners to grow and plant native plant species this spring in an effort to reduce the number of invasive plant species introduced to Long Island’s natural areas.

To ensure their efforts, the organizations are donating copies of the book “Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants,” published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to all public libraries in Suffolk County and local and federal government officials representing the county, plus growers, nurseries, select landscapers and landscape architects and garden clubs all over Long Island. The book features a variety of native alternatives for all purposes.

An invasive plant is one that was introduced by humans to a location outside its natural habitat and as a result causes environmental and economic damage by competing with and displacing plants and wildlife that are native to that area, therefore disrupting the natural ecosystem. One of the greatest threats to Long Island’s native plants and wildlife, invasive plants have already caused millions of dollars of damage to Long Islands lands and waters.

In 2007, Suffolk and Nassau counties passed legislation banning the commercial sale, introduction, and propagation of 63 invasive plant species.

The restoration of native species will not only benefit nature by offering better food and cover for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, but because they are adapted to the local climate, they often require less maintenance and watering than their invasive counterparts.

To purchase individual copies of the book for $8.95 each, visit www.bbg.org. The book is listed as number 185.

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