Alabama is one of the most biologically diverse states in North America; however, there are complex challenges in preserving native plant communities. Since invasion of nonnative species is often instrumental in causing habitat degradation and fragmentation, the Huntsville Botanical Garden is committed to improving the management and control of invasive species on Garden property and raising awareness of invasive species issues in the community. This goal is taken directly from the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation which helps public gardens prioritize conservation actions to preserve plant diversity on a local and regional scale.
Some steps that the Huntsville Botanical Garden has taken include:
- HBG has adopted the Invasive Plant Species Voluntary Codes of Conduct for Botanical Gardens and Arboreta
- HBG has developed an invasive species policy that is comprehensive and integrated into our plant collections management practices
- HBG has an active Conservation Committee that includes staff, volunteers, and community partners and the committee has developed an HBG Weed Watchlist to monitor the species known to occur on Garden property
- The HBG Conservation Committee has targeted the six most problematic species locally and developed Weed Management Plans for each, including both mechanisms of harm to natural communities and current best practices for control
- HBG is disseminating information on how to identify and control the target invasive species
- HBG has hosted classes on using iNaturalist to document invasive species occurrences
- HBG has hosted the Green Industry Web Portal to offer classes on Forest and Landscape Plant Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- HBG has removed invasive species from numerous locations within the Garden and re-planted with native or non-invasive species and will continue to monitor those areas for relapse
These are just the beginning steps of an ongoing effort to conserve native plant communities and mediate effects of invading plant species. If you are interested in finding out more, please watch our website for updates or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.