by Barbara Walvoord
Our native woodland wild flowers, like Indian pipe, jack-in-the-pulpit, mayflower, and trout lily, not only lift our hearts with their beauty, but support our food chains. 96% of birds need insects, not just nectar and seeds, to raise their young. 90% of insects eat only native plants (Douglas Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home). Invasive plants crowd out our native wildflowers and reduce wildlife.
- Don’t dump plants (especially ground cover), plant parts, or soil in the woods. Patches of our land on both campuses are already covered with alien invasives like ivy, vinca, pachysandra, and bishop’s weed, crowding out native wildflowers.
- If you can, go into the woods on either campus and pull garlic mustard, one of the most dangerous invasives for our U.S. woodlands (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/indiana/journeywithnature/garlic-mustard.xml). If the plant has not yet formed blossoms, you can leave it there; if it has blossoms, remove it, because, even when pulled, the blossoms can develop seeds. A single garlic mustard plant can produce hundreds of seeds, which are viable in the soil for up to 7 years.