The Kingston Greenways Association [KGA] and the Kingston Garden Club hosted a talk on Invasive Plant Species at the KGA winter meeting on Thursday, January 20th at 7:30 p.m. Our speaker was Dr. Michael van Clef, Director of Science and Stewardship at The Nature Conservancy. The talk was held at the Kingston Fire House on Heathcote Road in Kingston.

Dr. Van Clef is the Director of Science and Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey's Skylands program. He also plays a leadership role in the Conservancy's Invasive Species Initiative: a coordinated worldwide effort to confront the threat of invasive species through prevention, early detection and rapid response, restoration, research, and outreach to government agencies and international organizations. He is a member of New Jersey's Invasive Species Council, which is working to reduce the threat of invasives within the state.

Van Clef presented an overview of New Jersey's most problematic invasive plant species, including his top five scariest ones: multifloral rose, garlic mustard, Japanese stiltgrass, purple loosestrife, and barberry. He provided useful information on how gardeners and homeowners can reduce invasive plant populations on their property, and gave suggestions on what can be planted as alternatives. He spoke about the importance of deer control, a measure made necessary by the disappearance of woodlands due to overdevelopment. He also provided an overview of the New Jersey Invasive Species Council and their work in New Jersey to combat invasive plants in the Garden State. Excellent information packets were available, containing facts about The Conservancy's work in the Skylands, the Pine Barrens, and the Delaware Bayshores; lists of invasive and potentially invasive species; a copy of The Oak Leaf, the New Jersey Chapter's newsletter; a booklet describing native plants for wildlife habitat; a list of deer tolerant/resistant plants; native plant sources; and sources for native trees and shrubs for riparian forest buffers.

Those interested in delving deeper into this critical and fascinating subject may visit The Conservancy's website at jersey