Invasive and Native Plant Advisory Committee
|Emily J. Boeing||Member||December 31, 2022|
|Annette M. Cate||Member||December 31, 2022|
|Deb Fountain||Chair||December 31, 2022|
|Juliana Molina||Member||December 31, 2022|
|Patricia Swain Rice||Conservation Commissioner Representative||December 31, 2022|
|Marc Basti||Member||December 31, 2022|
The Invasive & Native Plant Advisory Committee was established on February 22, 2021 by the Select Board in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Part 1, Chapter 132, and guidance issued by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group. The Committee consists of seven members appointed by the Select Board, with at least one member also holding the title of Conservation Commissioner. Initial Committee appointments shall be for one year at which time the Select Board may disband the committee, continue the committee for an additional year, or appoint for three-year staggered terms. The Committee will inform Pepperell residents on invasive plant detection and reporting and advise appropriate remediation. The Committee will also educate the public on the importance of using native plantings.
1. Provide the Select Board with a strategic plan to
- assess and document invasive plant issues on public land,
- develop detection and reporting process for private land owners,
- create a list of invasive plants in town to compare with the state list,
- recommend appropriate remediation approaches,
- identify associated resource issues and sources for remediation actions,
2. Educate homeowners, businesses, and the agricultural community on the importance of using native plantings.
- establish a web presence with educational material concerning invasive plants and native plantings for residents
- work with local landscapers / garden centers to promote native plantings
Awareness & Education
- Created IPAC webpage on the town website, providing information and resources on how to identify and manage invasive plants commonly found in Pepperell. Webpage also includes information on native plants.
- PSAs and event notices posted on town News Flashes and Pepperell Facebook Groups.
- In concert with the Climate Change Council, created rack cards for distribution at events and for display at the Lawrence Library regarding invasive and native plants.
- Created the IPAC Native Plant Guide to provide residents, developers and landscapers with information on how to better protect and preserve our environmental assets through sustainable gardening. Portions of this document will also serve to aid in Master Plan recommendations addressing town zoning design guidelines.
- Contracted for two training courses on Invasive Plant topics for IPAC members with funds obtained through a grant from the Wild & Scenic Stewardship Community Grant Program.
Public Events & Outreach
Pepperell Garden Club Plant Sale - May 22
- Set up and managed a large area at the annual plant sale dedicated to selling native plants. The plants were all donated and proceeds from sales went to the Garden Club. Provided posters, handouts and advice on benefits of planting native plants in home gardens and creating more sustainable lawns/landscapes.
Lawrence Library Invasive Plant Pull - June 27
- Committee members and 12 volunteers removed a large area of invasive plants on the library grounds. The event was also educational, helping residents identify what invasives may be on their property. Following the removal project, Pepperell Highway Department brought in wood chips for mulch. IPAC members and the Library Gardeners restored the site, designing and installing a native plant garden with selections to provide wildlife and pollinators with safe habitat, to discourage future growth of invasives and as an example to residents on how to incorporate beneficial native plants into their home landscapes.
Day Woods - July 11
- Assisted Nashoba Conservation Trust in removing invasives at Day Woods conservation property. We also donated and planted native Black Elderberry shrubs as part of the restoration effort.
Pepperell Fall Fest - Sept 18
- Sharing a booth with the Climate Change Council, IPAC had a 3-table display: one for children crafts, with original concepts and designs by a committee member on native plants and pollinators, a second provided live samples, handouts and advice on invasive plant identification and removal, and a third focused on using native plants in home landscapes. Free native plant seeds were provided to visitors.
- Shared resources and information on topics and events such as those already listed, as well as addressing several Master Plan recommendations with the Climate Change Council, Planning Board and Conservation Commission.
- IPAC and the Groton Invasive Species Committee are regularly sharing ideas, information and resources. IPAC invited Groton members to attend two grant-funded invasive plant training classes. Two IPAC members joined a Groton sub-committee addressing mapping of invasive plants in our towns.
- In the absence of Massachusetts Fact Sheets on invasive plants, IPAC contacted the Division of Plant Industry of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, to obtain (and received) permission to use their admirable invasive species fact sheets on our website. The eight Pepperell Fact Sheets can be found in the Invasive Plant section of the on the IPAC webpage, and provide residents with photos, identification descriptions, general plant facts and removal practices.
- Developed and delivered Zoom presentations on "Native Plant Advocacy" to both the Pepperell Garden Club and the Central Mass Environmental Stewards Pilot Training Program.
- Sent a letter endorsed by all committee members to state legislators seeking support and sponsorship to a bill to create a State invasive species council and advisory committee, and a state trust fund to support invasive species control programs. The town of Groton is preparing a similar letter based on us sharing the information with them.
- Applied for and received a $4,000.00 grant from the Wild and Scenic Stewardship Community Grant Program to support start-up costs for the inaugural year of the IPAC. Funds were used to provide two invasive plant training events to which several committee members, the Pepperell Conservation Administrator, and some from the Groton Committee attended. Also, Wild and Scenic Stewardship Grant members were invited. IPAC also purchased a weed wrench tool which is now available to loan to residents. Finally, the grant allowed IPAC to contract for development of a project plan to serve as the basic structure, focus and elements for IPAC's Invasive Plant Management Plan.