Like many invasive species, Japanese barberry was introduced to the United States as an ornamental. Its hardy nature and red berries made it an attractive addition to landscapes in the late nineteenth century. Unfortunately, those qualities also allow it to spread voraciously beyond garden boundaries and into nearby natural areas. Unappetizing to deer because of its thorny stems, barberry is left unchecked and quickly takes over -- pushing out native plant species and severely reducing the amount of wildlife that can live in an area. Additionally, research shows that a barberry's dense foliage creates a perfect, humid climate for blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease -- a fact that also creates a public health risk.
On Saturday, May 13 from 10:00am - 2:00pm, ISN is giving landowners the opportunity to trade-in Japanese barberry for a coupon good for a non-invasive alternative. Hosted at the Boardman River Nature Center, pre-registered individuals can bring in their removed barberry shrubs to be disposed of correctly. In exchange, they will be given a coupon to a local nursery that participates in ISN's Go Beyond Beauty program. This ensures that any replacement plant will be non-invasive and support an array of wildlife! This is a great opportunity to transition your landscape to one that does not threaten nearby natural areas.
Registration is required and can be done online. Registration will close on Thursday, May 4, after which ISN will contact you to confirm a drop-off time.
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