Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Habitat Restoration

If you've been reading this Journal you probably have a very high awareness of invasive plants in Glastonbury. That's the first step in dealing with the problem- being able to identify invasive plants, understanding the damage they do, and knowing why it is so important to control and eradicate them.

The second step is learning how to get rid of them and taking action. This requires work and persistence.

The third step and perhaps most important is habitat restoration, which involves knowing what alternative plants need to be established. Habitat restoration assures food supply for birds and other animals and reduces the speed with which invasives will try to re-establish a foothold.

What if you don't own woodland or open field property? Do you still have habitat restoration opportunities on your nice Glastonbury residential property? Absolutely! Simply replacing invasive shrubs like Japanese barberry and winged euonymus ("burning bush") with non-invasive alternatives is a huge help. Stay ahead of new infestations of invasive plants like oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed and others so the habitat you provide on your property is as beneficial as it can be. CLICK HERE to go to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station's booklet on native alternatives.

Habitat restoration is a painstaking but rewarding process. It doesn't happen overnight and we can't eradicate invasive plants then assume nature will do the restoration. Nature needs our help because most invasive plant problems were caused by human importation. Now we need to help fix the problem and stop the damage.

CLICK HERE for an excellent BirdNotes story about grassland restoration in Maryland. Much of the comments about working over the long haul are very applicable to our efforts here in Glastonbury.