Invading plants are River Talk topic

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance will host a conversation about the dangers of invasive plants during the River Talk forum this Tuesday at the Crittenden, Eclipse and Hobson Ruritan Hall, 8881 Eclipse Drive.

Invasive Species Specialist Steven Kirkpatrick and Horticulturalist Byron Carmean will conduct a presentation on phragmites, alligator weed, Chinese privet, silktree and other out-of-control vegetation that proliferate and displace native plants.

“A lot of people don’t even realize what they purchase or have on their property are invasive, and a lot of them have seeds that birds take and fall in other areas,” NRPA President Elizabeth Taraski said in a phone interview. “They don’t just stay in the boundaries of someone’s property.”

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Invasive species compete with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients and space. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they’ve contributed to the decline of 42 percent of the United States’ endangered and threatened species. This also reduces habitats for wildlife and furthers the detriment of those natural ecosystems.

Kirkpatrick and Carmean will explain how to identify different invasive species and eradicate them effectively while planting native plants, shrubs and trees.

“The purpose of this is to educate and encourage people to implement these practices and protect the environment,” Taraski said.

The forum will begin with a social at 6:30 p.m., followed by the hour-long presentation at 7 p.m. It is open to all citizens that want to find out how to foster native plant species for the betterment of their local environment.

Call 708-6114 or email for more information.