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It’s not easy being green—a Spring call to action

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Happy Spring! Suddenly we’re eager for more time outdoors. We rejoice in the festive traditions of spring holidays, but also in simple pleasures like picking up the backyard, brushing off deck chairs, and visiting area farms for eggs and the earliest veggies and fruit. 

But then—there are not-so-nice seasonal markers: ticks are out, and so is the importunate new growth of invasive plants. That green tinge to the forest understory stops looking so smart when one realizes it’s a monoculture of Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, or winged euonymus. Invasive plants interfere with our native ecosystem’s plants, animals, soils, and water—often in harmful, even fatal ways. 

The Kent Land Trust is working to restore habitat on our nature preserves in response to the interrelated trifecta of threats from climate impacts, human disturbance and invasive plants. It feels daunting, yet hopeful, to make incremental improvements and see how nature rebounds. 

KLT Guest Correspondent Alison Robey has written her own observations and a helpful guide to explain how to deal with invasives on your own property. Get involved, if you’d like, by volunteering with us on April 20 in celebration of Earth Day. 

Or are you looking for another, generally-less-physical and more light-hearted way to contribute? Add your observations to one of the world’s largest community science projects—eBird, data that helps organizations such as KLT tailor land protection and management strategies to the species on their land. Hearing Spring’s increase in birdsong, we got inspired to polish up our Merlin and eBird skills. Join us April 18 at 45 on Main for a group tutorial to get hands-on help before you go out on your own. 

While we sadly had to cancel our Winter Tree Identification program (twice, ouch!) we’re still so charmed by the wonder of trees. You too? Plan on joining Kent’s Environmental Book Club to discuss Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, and/or attend Kent Tree Warden Bruce Bennett’s talk at the Kent Memorial Library during Kent’s Spring Fest on May 4.

Before that, participate in the annual Kent Town Clean Up to beautify our country roads. And bring the kids to the Kent Conservation Commission’s program on composting at the Kent Memorial Library.

There are so many ways to be engaged in the environmental needs of Kent’s community. In the weeks to come we’ll focus in on beneficial landscaping practices including gardening with native plants to promote pollinator health. Together, let’s reclaim Spring green as a color to admire and nurture within this beautiful environment we share! 

Connie Manes is executive director of the Kent Land Trust

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