BOWDOINHAM, Maine — Friends of Merrymeeting Bay continues its Outside! 2014 series with an Invasive Plants Walk, 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug, 23. Participants will walk upland and to a protected part of the Bowdoinham shoreline on Merrymeeting Bay while learning about various non-native species. This all-ages event is free and open to the public.
Invasive plants threaten biodiversity in fragile ecosystems like Merrymeeting Bay if they become the dominant species. Often lacking control by native diseases and predators in their new habitat, exotics can grow at accelerated rates, allowing them to outcompete endemic plants. Locals may recognize invasives like Japanese barberry, Oriental bittersweet, honeysuckle or purple loosestrife in their yards or nearby trails. While often easy to identify, they can be very difficult to minimize or eradicate.
The morning walk will be led by Nancy Sferra, director of science and stewardship at The Nature Conservancy’s Maine chapter. Attendees will learn to identify these species while learning what habitats they prefer and how best to eradicate or control them. Many, including landowners, hikers, gardeners and botanists, may be interested in knowing the role these plants play in our local environment and possible threats they pose to rare and indigenous bay plants like Parker’s pipewort or Eaton’s bur-marigold.
Participants will meet in Bowdoinham and should wear sturdy shoes and bring water, sunscreen and bug spray. Pre-registration is required with Dup Crosson at 666-1118.