Learn to fight backyard invasive plants

RIPTON — Are invasive plants showing up on your property? On Thursday, May 30, the Ripton Conservation Commission is sponsoring an event, “Invasive Plants in Your Backyard? What You Can Do.” The talk is for anyone interested in or dealing with invasive plants on their property.
Elizabeth Spinney, Invasive Plant Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, with members of the Ripton Conservation Commission, will describe invasive plants’ impacts, help participants identify them and help them learn what to do about them. The event will be at the Ripton Community House, 1305 Vermont Route 125 at 7 p.m. Slides, posters and handouts will provide information about these sometimes very unpleasant invaders and how they can be dealt with.
Invasive plants, along with insects and other organisms were either accidentally or intentionally introduced from other places and now cause harm to the things we value. Once established, invasive species can negatively impact agriculture, recreation, forestry, human health, the environment and the economy. Invasive species threaten Vermont’s biodiversity by preying on or out-competing native plants and animals.
In Addison County, invasive plants such as garlic mustard, buckthorn and Japanese knotweed can poison soils, cause soil bank erosion and crowd out native plants. Controlling non-native invasive species makes a difference in Vermont backyards, forests, parks and natural lands. Controlling them makes a difference to the Vermont economy, the fish and wildlife, and to the ability to enjoy the outdoors around homes, towns and throughout Vermont.
Elizabeth Spinney has worked for Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) since 2014, initially with the Habitat Restoration Crew. She is now the Invasive Plant Coordinator for FPR. She informs communities, organizations and state agencies about the impact of invasive terrestrial plants and connects people to resources to take action. When she isn’t pulling invasive plants, Elizabeth can be found gardening, birding, crocheting or exploring Vermont.

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