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Speaker Discusses Invasive Species

Environmental Club, along with students in Ms. Morgan’s Biology classes, welcomed Dr. Carrie DeJaco to speak about Invasive Plants and Pests in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Dr. DeJaco is an ecologist and professor at Queen’s College and a member of CLIPP, the Council on Locally Invasive Plants and Pests.

Student’s met after school to hear her guest lecture in which she explained the difference between invasive and non-native species. Tomatoes, corn and basil are non-native plants to our area, but they are not invasive.

Invasive species of plants are extremely fast growing and produce a lot of seeds. This allows them to take over areas quickly. They compete with native plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients and provide little food for our local birds, insects and wildlife.

Most invasive species are introduced by human activities. That’s why each of us has a part to play in preventing and controlling them. Dr. DeJaco explained several ways to prevent the introduction of invasive species.

• Gardening? Plant native species.
• Going camping? Don’t transport firewood. Buy it locally; leave what you don’t use there.
• Going fishing? Don’t empty your bait bucket in or near water – it’s against the law.
• Going boating? Wash your boat before you move to another lake or river.
• Going hiking? Clean visible mud, plants and seeds from your boots and other equipment.
• Have a fish pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild and don’t flush dead fish down the toilet. Put them in the garbage or compost.
• Have a turtle or other small reptile pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild. Contact a reptile rescue society for help.
• Traveling? Don’t take plants, plant parts, seeds or fruit across borders.

Dr. DeJaco donated 30 copies of a guidebook on invasive plants in southern forests and several copies of a Charlotte guidebook on invasive plants. Students may check the guidebooks out from Ms. Kopchick or Ms. Morgan if interested.  

Written by: Kortney Kopchick, Environmental Club Chair
Posted: Oct 29, 2013 by Deb Christensen

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