Riverside is getting some ecological love these days. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has partnered with the Farmer’s Garden in Riverside to plant trees and shrubs in neighborhoods that could use a little greening. The partnership is part of Riverkeeper’s “Native Niagara” program that has roots going back as far as 2012. Over the years, invasive plant species have run roughshod over our neighborhoods. Many of these plants are introduced voluntarily because of their appearance, while others take hold through myriad means.
A stock of plants with a truly native genotype is being grown to be used in future habitat restoration efforts within the watershed.
In order to combat the proliferation of invasive species, the Native Program was introduced to “collect and propagate” native plant species that so many animals and insects rely upon. We’ve been disrupting the natural course of Mother Nature for so long, that we barely know what was intended anymore. Fro example, if we eradicate the plant species that support various types of moths and the butterflies, then these species disappear. The disappearance then causes a chain reaction, affecting the survival of fledgling and migratory birds that rely on the moth and butterfly to survive. In the end, the entire ecosystem is at risk.
With the help of volunteers, seeds have been harvested from several local sites and propagated over the past several years. The seeds are now ready to move into the garden.
Currently, the task at hand is to continue to disseminate the native plant species to groups such as Grassroots Gardens WNY, which works closely with myriad sites throughout the city, including Farmer’s Garden.
On November 4, Grassroots Gardens WNY and the BRRAlliance will be joining Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to place a “Native Niagara Sign” in the garden at the corner of Guernsey and Farmer in Black Rock. The sign marks the groups’ commitment to planting native species throughout the region.The community is invited to attend the celebration, and the launch of this significant partnership efforts moving forward. The event will take place at 11am.