Invasive Plant Research and Eradication
At the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, we are working to address the threat of invasive plants on the MSU Campus. Because we import plants from around the world, many of which are rarely grown in the US, and because our Garden is within the floodplain of the Red Cedar River and frequently floods, we need to be especially careful about introducing potential threats to our local environment. These efforts will help us become better citizens in the region and better stewards of our natural heritage, as well as play a leading role in invasive species control on campus.
In summer 2022, we developed a new invasive plant policy for the Garden. This policy limits what plants we will include in our collection (or grow in the Garden). In an effort to be better stewards of our environment, we will no longer grow plants on the Michigan Prohibited and Restricted species list and we continue to work to remove them from our property. Furthermore, we developed a plan to carefully monitor all the plants grown in our Garden for education and research purposes for signs of invasiveness, and to remove them if they are deemed a threat.
As part of our new effort, we have created a new role, Invasive Plant Species Coordinator, who is charged with implementation of our policy. Carolyn Miller has been appointed to this role. In addition to her leadership in the Garden, she is also working to eradicate invasive plant species from the MSU Campus Natural Areas, and providing guidance to campus partners for invasive species removal in other parts of campus.
In the near future, we’ll also be working hard to increase our education and outreach about invasive species and to build stronger partnerships with other groups. We are also stepping up our efforts to remove invasive species from the banks of the Red Cedar River where it borders the Garden. You can help by participating in invasive species removal events that we coordinate in the Garden or Campus Natural Areas, or elsewhere on campus or by downloading Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) app and reporting invasive species on campus when you see them.