National Invasive Species Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales.
By Holly Odgers - Lake Hopatcong Foundation.
Though National Invasive Species Awareness Week only runs from February 27 – March 3, there are lots of ways you can help all year long:
Become a Lake Hopatcong Water Scout
The Lake Hopatcong Habitattitude.org are volunteers who are trained to seek out and remove water chestnut, an invasive species that could wreak havoc on the Lake Hopatcong ecosystem. Find out how to join us for the 2017 season HERE.
Go Native! Plant Native in Your Yard
Because native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they require far less water, are less susceptible to pests and diseases, do not generally need fertilizer, and are unlikely to escape and become invasive. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. (Read more about native plants in this brochure form the Musconetcong Watershed Association.)
Not sure which plants are native to our area?
Join us for our Native Plant Sale on May 6 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Lake Hopatcong Train Station, 125 Landing Rd in Landing where will have a wide variety of native plants for sale to get you started with your spring planting! This will be a cash only sale.
More Ways You Can Help (from the National Invasive Species Awareness Week Website)
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
- Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
- Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free.”
- Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
- Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
- Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
Find out more at www.nisaw.org