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Old 06-07-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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Default PA- Restoration efforts bloom along Lehigh Canal

Restoration efforts bloom along Lehigh Canal
Group has spent 2 years planting native species, weeding out invasive alien varieties of plants
By Nicole Radzievich | Of The Morning Call
June 1, 2009

Restoration efforts bloom along Lehigh Canal -- themorningcall.com
excerpts from above:
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Scholl and his volunteers -- the trail tenders -- have re-established native plants like the bluebells. It's a 600-by-70-foot outdoor classroom and plant nursery that will produce seeds to be planted in other parts of the 165-mile towpath.
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The project underscores a statewide push to rid parks of the honeysuckle, knotweed and the offspring of pretty backyard plants that have quickly overtaken native species and reduced the biodiversity.
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''Removing invasive plants is a never-ending job. It's just like cleaning your house. After you finish, you have to start all over again,'' said Christine Novak, spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. ''But establishing native communities once you get the invasives out will go a long way.''
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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This is an encouraging article, Staff. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Many of you seem to have jobs (or are otherwise involved with programs) that include public education related to conservation efforts. I'm curious as to what sorts of efforts seem to produce the best outcomes? And how are the success of outcomes determined?

(I imagine that this has been discussed at length already, so if anyone would like to point me in the direction of a previous discussion I would be grateful.)
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:46 PM   #3
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Any project that is fun and meaningful will enjoy the highest success. Once people understand that they can make a difference, they're more likely to roll up their sleeves to join in. Afterall, it's our land... yours and mine. The event organized by the divers was illustrative of how a small group of people with a special skill were able to make a tremendous difference. All of us have gifts and talents, we sometimes need help figuring out how best to use those gifts and talents in the time we have left over from our busy lives. A few hours a month can have a significant impact. People need to be shown that they can make a difference without committing a chunk of their life.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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This very well may have been a discussion before but that doesn't matter. It's a good topic in need of being revisited frequently.

It's important to help make connections for people that they are incapable of making on thier own. Education is critical. Hands on is best when combined with a visual. If they can see what's in it for them or what's in it for their children or grandchildren, they are more likely to take action. We all like to feel good about what we're doing and we all like to believe what we're doing can make a difference. That is one of the reasons why conservation efforts are so effective.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:35 AM   #5
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I guess what I am wondering about is what sorts of efforts are able to reach the widest audience? And how do we determine that an audience has been influenced?

And further, to what extent have they been influenced? Has a public education effort been enough to encourge the public to act on its own? Will the public (any targeted "public," not necessarily the public at large) respond without being nudged, or will they only respond to structured programs that they merely show up for?

In short, how can we get the biggest bang for our conservation buck?
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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Providing programming to educate the children reaches a wide audience. These special little people are tomorrow's consumer.

Efforts made by the media to inform the public of the costs are reaching a wide audience. Consumers have a tendency of standing up and taking notice when it begins to cost them money.

Regulation by far would have the greatest reach. Regulation most certainly influences the buying public. If the species isn't available, it can't be purchased.

I don't know of any research out there specifically gaging how the public has been influenced or to what extent. Perhaps a better gage would be that native plant nurseries aren't disappearing over night as they used to back in the 80's and 90's. You might want to look for marketing studies that look at trends.

This site most probably exists because of heightened awareness. Where else can we go where we aren't bombarded by mixed messages and gardeners clinging to their beloved privet hedges? The message is getting out there. Patience my native plant loving friend, patience.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:19 PM   #7
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Oh. Not impatient (well, okay, I guess I am). I was just curious as to what seem to be the most effective approaches. Lorax, your points are all compelling and on an intinctive level seem quite right.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:12 PM   #8
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Reading this gives me some hope. Yesterday I drove I-78 from Harrisburg PA all the way to Allentown, and the only plants I saw on the roadside for nearly 60 miles were multiflora rose and tree of heaven. Very disheartening. Good to hear there's a native oasis in the Lehigh Valley.

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