Invasive Plants in Meridian Township

Like the rest of the world, Meridian Township is home to plants that are not naturally occurring here and have begun to cause a problem in our parks, natural areas and possibly in your backyard too.

Meridian Township Parks’ staff has a goal of maintaining balanced ecosystems within our parks. This includes the removal of invasive species and the re-introduction of native species.

What is an Invasive Plant?

An invasive plant is not indigenous to the area where it is growing. It has been introduced either intentionally or non-intentionally to the area.

Why Remove Invasive Plants from our Parks?

Invasive plants crowd out native plant species and do not usually provide food or habitat for the animal species living there. The ecological balance within the natural environment is interrupted by the invasive species.

Are Invasive Plants a Concern for Property Owners?

Yes. Invasive plants will spread throughout the gardens and natural areas of your private property and the seeds will spread to your neighbors' yards and to public areas. Keeping your private property free of invasive species is an important way of helping to protect our parks and natural areas.

Garlic Mustard, an aggressive exotic plant, has the potential to completely takeover native Michigan ecosystems. Unlike invasive species that are only found in disturbed areas, Garlic Mustard can dominate both disturbed and undisturbed, valuable habitats. Its ability to do this means a once pristine forest can be overrun with Garlic Mustard within a few years. Garlic Mustard can alter the herbaceous cover of a forest understory so drastically that it causes a decrease in insect diversity (no insects have been identified that consume Garlic Mustard) which inevitably leads to a decrease in mammal and bird diversity. 

2018 Garlic Mustard Challenge – All Township property!
• Pull Garlic Mustard, seal it in a bag, and place it in your garbage, NOT in yard waste, per MI law for invasive species
• Avoid transporting seeds by brushing off shoes, clothing, pets, etc.
• Report how much Garlic Mustard you pulled to the Meridian Township Parks and Recreation Department. 
• We’ll enter it in the Stewardship Network’s Garlic Mustard Challenge in order to compete with other Michigan regions!