Environmental News You Can Use
The Buzz from Buz Kenney

Did you know that the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia), Bradford Pear Tree (Callery pear), and Chinese Silvergrass (miscanthus) are all invasive plants you should avoid? These and many other plants sold in local stores are attractive, but unfortunately they are spreading out of yards and damaging natural spaces.
 
Over recent decades, the NJ forests that we depend on for drinking water, stormwater runoff suppression, carbon storage, and outdoor recreation have become seriously stressed by invasive plants and are at risk of losing their ability to regenerate.
 
To protect our forests, please don’t use any plants on this Do Not Plant List created by the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team. The more of these that we plant, the more they spread. Ideally please plant native plants instead.
 
Native plants and local wildlife evolved together. Native plant communities are a non-replaceable source of food and habitat to sustain our insects, birds, and other wildlife populations. Because they evolved with local soils and climate, they are also low-maintenance and their deep roots minimize stormwater runoff.
 
Going Native is an excellent guide that can help you select attractive native plants that provide essential food and shelter for pollinators and other wildlife. Nurseries that can ship local native plants to your doorstep include Toadshade Wildflower Farm, Wild Ridge Plants, Pinelands Direct Native Plants, and Izel Native Plants
Bad Bugs: Emerald Ash Borer

All homeowners with ash trees on their property need to take action. Ash trees dying from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) damage become brittle and pose a serious danger where falling timber could hurt people, property, or power lines. EAB is an invasive insect that infects and kills all species of ash trees. Many ash trees in town are already dead and within 3 to 4 years 99% of untreated ash trees will follow. Learn how to identify ash trees and about dangers to homeowners.
Good Bugs: 17-Year Cicada Supercycle

Starting sometime in April-May, billions of cicadas will emerge in a dozen U.S. states, including hot spots in New Jersey. For about four to six weeks after the cicadas emerge, woods and neighborhoods will ring with their buzzing mating calls. The cicadas won’t hurt you. They don’t sting and they’re not venomous. To learn more, check out this Rutgers Fact Sheet
Rutgers “Earth Day Every Day” Webinars are Back

Earth Day Every Day is a popular series of weekly webinars from the experts at Rutgers Agriculture Cooperative Extension. Each of these free webinars focuses on steps anyone can take at home to protect the environment. The live, interactive Zoom sessions are approximately one hour. View the 2021 sessions, including recordings of past sessions.
Take Our One-Minute Composting Survey

Backyard composting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to fight global warming at home (watch this Youtube video to learn how composting can help). The Environmental Commission wants to better understand how many residents in Morris Township are composting, why people don’t compost, and how we can help make composting easier for you. Please take the survey
Three Ways You Can Help
 
Join our mail list and spread the word by forwarding this email to a neighbor
Volunteer for a project -- email buzkenney@gmail.com to learn more
Attend the next meeting of the Environmental Commission on May 13