Gov. Beverly Perdue has declared April 1 through April 7 “Invasive Plant Awareness Week.” As part of its efforts to raise awareness about the problem, the North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council (NC-EPPC) is urging North Carolinians to create a top 10 list of invasive plants.
“As things green up and people start planting their gardens, now is the time to think about invasive plants,” explains NC-EPPC President, Rick Iverson. “Awareness is key to recognizing invasive plants and making the right decisions on what you plant.”
Invasive plants like kudzu can wreak havoc with on our natural and managed resources. Originally imported from Asia to prevent erosion in 1876, Kudzu has blanketed large parts of the Southeast – It now covers an area equal to the State of Maryland.
Most invasive plants affecting North Carolina are native to Asia. Upon arriving here, they crowd out native plants – turning complex ecosystems that are filled with a variety of plant species into simple communities dominated by a single plant. Animals, insects and birds that rely on native ecosystems are also negatively affected. in a state like North Carolina where agriculture is the leading industry, invasive plants have the potential to deliver a serious blow to the economy.
Make your voice heard! You can vote on the most problematic invasive plants in the Tarheel State, learn more about the issue, and find out more about invasive species awareness events in your community at http://nceppc.weebly.com/index.html.