Friday, January 23, 2015

LEAPing into 2015

Some of the best meetings I attend are at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  The have a working group called: Lake Erie and Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity.  We like to call ourselves LEAP.

 LEAP members are involved in identifying, protecting and restoring ecosystems and habitats.  They also actively try to help educate about native plants.  Each year they come up with these fabulous cards with a tree, shrub and forb you can use in your home landscape.  This project is sponsored by the Cleveland Metroparks.

Pawpaw is the tree of 2015. If you like to see butterflies in your yard, think Zebra Swallowtails! Pawpaw is a host plant for Zebra butterflies and is a deer-resistant plant for your yard and garden. This is one of my all-time favorite plants.

Buttonbush is a shrub that loves wet spaces and would be perfectly suited for you rain garden.  Bees and butterflies love to nectar on Buttonbush. You will be helping our pollinators by planting this shrub.

Stonecrop is an easy-to-care for flowering native that thrives on drier soils and neglect.  It makes a great ground cover. To see past year's selections go to the LEAP website.

Renee Boronka  of CMNH heads up the meetings.

These meetings gather a diverse group of land managers from Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and many Land Trusts and Conservancies. We struggle with the difficult problems of land management.

                   Like this one....

White-tailed  Deer
White-tail deer, a.k.a.  Bambi, Botany Browsers, and last but not least, Tick Transporters.  Nothing creates a bigger stir in land management.  They are sooo cute but they create so much damage to the land, ecosystems and the other inhabitants in the woods.  A few deer are a wonderful addition to the landscape.  A few too many? Deer are the enemy of biodiversity, and left unchecked, quickly become the scourge of all lower life forms, except ticks.  Ticks love 'em.

 These gatherings are the Who's Who of Land Management and attended by some of the finest land managers in the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania.  We look closely at a potential problems and assess them from all angles.

 i.e.: Could birth control be used on deer?  Unfortunately, we know it would have a trickle-down effect on the reproduction of Bald Eagles and other scavengers as well. It is just not that simple.

To learn more about LEAP, the conservation problems we are currently tackling and helpful tips about native plants-   is the link to click.

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