Ripples 3-05-14

The following was written by Jennifer Powell, Land Management Coordinator for Woodland Dunes and also Coordinator for the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area.


Buy Local, Buy Native

Spring is right around the corner and many of us are catching spring fever after a cold, snowy winter. As you gear up for spring planting and dream of warmer days to come, keep in mind the following tips.

The Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA) reminds you to purchase your plants from a local and knowledgeable source. Unfortunately, many catalog and online plant retailers still sell non-native, invasive species that are illegal in Wisconsin. Often you’ll find these plants labeled with the incorrect scientific name, further complicating things.

Wisconsin’s Invasive Species Identification, Classification and Control Rule, commonly referred to as NR 40, makes it illegal to transport, possess, transfer, or introduce certain non-native, invasive species. There are two primary categories in NR 40: prohibited and restricted species. The main difference is that it is not illegal to possess restricted species since many are well established where they occur and difficult to remove. It is illegal to possess species listed as prohibited.

Whenever possible, we recommend buying your plants from a local supplier and selecting plants native to your area for your yard and garden. These plants already grow and survive naturally in the area, which increases your success rate and decreases the possibility of their escaping your garden into a neighboring natural area. We advise this practice for both land and water gardens.

If you are looking for some helpful advice on how to achieve a native landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, come listen to LISMA’s own Connie Ramthun’s presentation at Woodland Dunes Nature Center on March 20 from 2:00-3:00 p.m., titled “Living with the Land, Our Birchwood Home”.

BarberryConnie, and her husband Bill Volkert, have been living at their home on Birchwood Lake for more than 25 years. While disturbing the land to build their house, they have worked over the years to restore their land to a series of natural communities, including an oak-hickory woods, restored prairie and a wetland with natural springs. They have removed invasive shrubs from their woodlot and turned a former cornfield into a native prairie and prairie nursery.

Connie collects seeds from the nursery to grow in a greenhouse to establish new gardens and enhance existing ones. She has obtained special permits to grow several state threatened species which now thrive here. Over the years they have cataloged nearly 600 species of plants and animals on less than 10 acres.

This free program will feature their experiences in natural landscaping and land management and offer you a range of examples for using native plants for both small gardens and managing larger areas of land.

For more information on native landscaping or our upcoming program, please visit or call Jennifer at Woodland Dunes (920) 793-4007.

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