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Old 08-01-2009, 08:11 AM  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Racine, Ohio along the Ohio River
Default Stewardship: Who will take responsibility

Frank W. Porter
Porterbrook Native Plants

Last edited by Fearless Weeder; 06-03-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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By amelanchier on 08-07-2009, 05:33 PM

Originally Posted by Porterbrook View Post
With regard to wildflower plantings along the Interstates in West Virginia, Paul A. Mattox stated:

“Operation Wildflower, a joint program of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the Garden Clubs, and the DOH began in 1990. One part of this program permitted individuals or organizations to sponsor sites including a sign that identified the sponsor or memorialized a loved one.

An attempt was made to plant native wildflowers but several problems were encountered. Among them was a difference of opinion on which species were native, seeds were impossible to find or were prohibitively expensive, and the native species did not do well in roadside growing conditions. In addition, the sponsors expected showy, colorful plots the first year which required annual species and ruled out perennial species which do not bloom the first year. All of the factors have combined to encourage the program to plant the annual species being used.”
Ugh. I guess the next step is to contact the sponsors & get them to insist on native wildflowers. If that doesn't work, there needs to be significant civil-society pressure on the administration to change its approach. Sowing alien weeds is worse than doing nothing. It would be better to abolish the program & mow those medians than to keep current policy in place.
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By milkweed on 08-07-2009, 07:39 PM

Great article Porterbrook. Too bad all the responses were "Not my responsibility".
There are plenty of native flowers that bloom the first year. Rudbeckia hirta for one and you can find that in any garden/hardware store.
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By Porterbrook on 08-07-2009, 08:36 PM

Hello Sara S., I would applaud the efforts of the DOH of Kentucky to spray Miscanthus sinensis, but would want to know what they intend to do afterwards. Will they leave it an open and disturbed area ripe for invasive species to move in ? Will they plant it with perennial native plants? It is something worth investigating.
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By ruthieb on 08-16-2009, 02:21 PM

Dear Porterbrook,

As many have stated before me, thank you for being the voice in the forest. Would the state of West Virginia be interested in selling native plants and their seeds to save them? In this way, the persons who feel they need to try and grow a native plant in a situation that may not be conducive to its health and well-being could learn how to supplement their soil or pay attention to shading concerns of the plant, and other growing issues that are important for the plant to flourish, in their chosen area.

I am an Illinois transplant, living in Minnesota. Our state DNR has a monthly magazine "The Volunteer", which stated recently that our native species of bumblebees (8) and flies (40) and numerous birds, are having issues finding pollen. This is due to the fact that "concerned parties" are destroying their natural habitats, for alternative ones like farming.

I have no issues with farmers in general, I moved from a state that loves to make strip malls and asphalt and concrete cities out of farm fields. However, in this time of getting the most crop yield from your fields through GMO's; I have a personal issue with the fact that the farmers are killing the natural species that land on the GMO crops that don't differentiate between the "good" insects and the "bad".

If we all make a loud enough noise; whether through our actions or deeds, we may still be able to save the wild spaces that are special and needed, in each of our areas for us and our planet to survive.

Bless you and yours, be they two or four-legged;

Last edited by Fearless Weeder; 08-16-2009 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: removing personally identifiable information
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By Porterbrook on 08-16-2009, 04:21 PM

Dear Ruthie, Thank you for your heartfelt response to my article. I am a firm believer that no positive and lasting change can come about without educating the public and public servants about the need to preserve and conserve our native flora and fauna. In truth, these are efforts that all of us concerned with the future of our planet will be involved with for many years to come. Our actions and our deeds will serve as examples to our neighbors of the lasting benefits of planting native flora in our yards and landscapes. There will always be skeptics and die-hearts who will not heed the warnings that Mother Nature is making evident each day. But our energy must be focused on what we can do. We must not only preserve the wild spaces, but we must also conserve what is left beyond our natural areas.
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frank, native plants, responsibility, responsibilitystewardship, stewardship

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