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Plant invaders are taking over native Hoosier life

A Hoosier invasive plant management group is warning residents about invading plants taking over native life.

Posted: Oct. 12, 2018 6:37 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Green spaces across Indiana are in danger.

A Hoosier invasive plant management group is warning residents about invading plants taking over native life.

Invasive plants like bush honeysuckle are widespread at Hawthorn Park in Vigo County. Environmental officials led a group of concerned gardeners and property owners through the park Friday to explain how to identify invasive plants.

Southern Indiana Invasives Management Group experts say plant invaders are becoming a major issue in the state. They explain invasive plants do not have any natural predators or competition so they grow out of control.

Amber Slaughterbeck led the group and says, "Most people have these invasive plants on their property and they've been battling them or unsure how to battle them so I'm going to show them how to battle them by physically removing them."

She explains when these plants grow out of control they suffocate other plant life around them. Officials say you can see this playing out at Hawthorn Park.

Slaughterbeck says, “The biggest one you can see is bush honeysuckle. There is a lot of bush honeysuckle and it is not unique to Hawthorn Park. It's all over the state it's probably one of the most common invasives across our entire state."

Slaughterbeck says invasive plants are eradicating other plants and removing beneficial native life. Native plants help feed local animals.

Slaughterbeck says, "It's not a unique situation so it's important for them to properly identify them and see exactly how they are affecting the woods by seeing absolutely nothing growing underneath them."

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