Encroaching invasive plants are gradually degrading the health of our forests and natural areas. Trained eyes and maintenance and control measures associated with enlightened landscaping practices, planning and patience can prevent many of these invasives. Thus, we can reduce this threat to the remarkable biodiversity of our region and promote native plants that provide valuable eco-services to us and to the wildlife we treasure.
To begin to build region-wide awareness on the threat of invasives, a small ad-hoc group associated with Hanover’s Conservation Commission and other communities is working on a plan to educate the public about a small plant that is fairly new in the region, and is spreading very quickly into neighborhoods. The plant is garlic mustard, and research has shown it to be a significant threat to forest health (see attached background document, with pertinent references). Other invasive shrubs are well established, and their control is a different matter – with garlic mustard, we are trying to halt the spread of a fairly new plant, since it is not yet pervasive.
This regional project will require an aggressive two-pronged approach, with both an educational and control aspect: We hope to train more ‘eyes on the ground’ to report the plant and to build teams in each neighborhood where this plant has settled, to help to keep it from reaching further into the region. Mid-May is the best time to attack Garlic Mustard. See attachments and contact the Hanover Conservation Commission for more information.