Nurture Native and Combat Invasive Species

Here at Little Red Wagon Native Nursery, we encourage everyone to add native plants to their gardens. Native plants are key components of healthy ecosystems and are an easy way to #NurtureNative. After all, native plants have a symbiotic relationship with our native wildlife and have a positive impact on biodiversity.

Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates native plants the way we do. Many plant non-native plants, some of which escape cultivation and negatively impact forest health, displace native plants and wildlife and alter natural ecosystems. When one totals the annual economic impacts of non-native invasive plant, animal, and pathogen species, some $3-5 trillion may be lost globally and $137 billion lost in the United States to the impacts and management of invasive species.

Florida’s subtropical climate makes our state especially prone to the risk of invasion by invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants. (For more information on the nonnative animal species which have been reported in Florida, please see here. For information on native, nonnative, and invasive plant species, the University of Florida has a great online plant directory here.)

This week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. With approximately 42% of threatened or endangered species at risk due to invasive species, it’s a time to help spread the word about the importance of nurturing our native species.

You can also report sightings of invasive plant and animal species using IveGot1 directly from your smart phone. Snorkelers and scuba divers are asked to report sightings of exotic species here. Together, we can #NurtureNative.