Specialist warns of dangers of invasive plants at Manistee garden club meeting

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Emily Cook, outreach specialist with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network, spoke to the Spirt of the Woods Club Garden Club on July 12 in Manistee.

MANISTEE— Emily Cook was the guest speaker at the July 12 meeting of the Spirit of the Woods Garden Club, Inc. Cook is an outreach specialist with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN). She explained that many of today’s invasive plants were originally planted intentionally in gardens, but because they came from a foreign region, they have no natural predators to control them. Invasive plants are harmful because they crowd out native plants and local insects. Invasive plants also prevent birds from receiving the nutrition they would normally get.

ISN has a program called Go Beyond Beauty which encourages gardeners to purchase plants from local nurseries and through landscapers who pledge not to sell highly endangered invasive ornamentals. Cook also talked about the top 20 invasive species and shared some suggestions of native plants that are good alternatives to invasive species.

The next meeting will be on August 9 at noon at the Lions Pavilion at First Street Beach in Manistee. Club President Kris Greve will present the President’s report. Club members will also participate in a Summer Garden Show and Tell.

For more information on club meetings and activities, contact Beth Markowski at 616-401-3387 or Kathy Johnson at 231-398-2840.

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