Falmouth board to hold info session on invasive plants

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FALMOUTH — The town has declared war on invasive plants, which degrade ecosystem diversity, but there’s only so much it can do.

So the Conservation Commission is now enlisting the public’s help.

The commission will hold a special Invasive Plants Workshop at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at Lunt Auditorium, with the goal of educating property owners about how to identify, control and substitute for invasive plants.

Kimberly Darling, the town’s sustainability coordinator, said, “we’d like residents to understand, and act on, is that working to solve this problem is going to take all of us.”

“Invasives have no boundaries between public lands and private lands. It’s important we all do our part to try and prevent their aggressive behavior,” she added.

Removing invasive plants is also important for human health, Darling said, because certain non-native plants can harbor harmful insects such as ticks, which cause a variety of debilitating diseases.

Nancy Lightbody, chairwoman of the Conservation Commission, said the panel has been working to control the proliferation of invasive plants in Falmouth for nearly 10 years and the upcoming workshop is part of that effort.

The workshop will include photos of common invasive plants, and several experts will be on hand to answer questions.

Lightbody said some of the most persistent invasives in Falmouth include Japanese knotweed, Asiatic bittersweet, multiflora rose and honeysuckle.

She said property owners in town can help by buying only native plant species, removing invasive plants from their landscape and rethinking their expectations.

“Leave leaf litter, don’t fertilize or use weed and feed, and don’t expect perfection,” Lightbody said.