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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

When Things Aren’t as They Appear

See this photo? I loved the yellow flowers growing along the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior.

Until I learned that those yellow flowers are an invasive species, called Common Tansy.

Since then, I’ve discovered large number of invasive species are infiltrating our parks, wetlands, and forests. They fool us to think that they’re plants we want. In the Midwest, we have buckthorn. In the south, there’s kudzu. The National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species highlights many common invasive species:

Why worry about invasive species? Because they choke out natural species. The create erosion. They attract pests, which then obliterate the species we want. They suck out the nutrients, moisture, and light from native plants. And I’m focusing only on the plant invaders. There are also animal, aquatic, forest, and climate-change intruders as well.

In essence, invasive species are threatening our parks, prairies, wetlands, forests, and other natural habitats. They’re threatening our world.

So I’m learning as much as I can about invasive species. I’m contributing to environmental organizations working to eradicate invasive species (such as the Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife). And I’m combatting the invasive species in our yard (those thistles).

Do what you can to pay attention. Learn as much as you can. See things as they are, not just as they appear.

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