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.