The City of Austin is proposing a plan to manage invasive plants on city-owned property such as parks and easements. If passed, it will be the first such management program in Texas and the second in the U.S.
The plan would identify the economic and ecological impact of invasive species and find solutions that could be implemented citywide. It is being developed by UT’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Invasive non-native plants spread quickly, compete with native species and disrupt the local ecosystem, such as by choking waterways and crowding out plants that provide habitat and food for animals. Plants identified as invasive in the plan include Chinaberry, ligustrum (Japanese privet), elephant ear, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese pistache, pyracantha, hydrilla and water hyacinth.
The city wants to remove these plants from its property, and you can do your part by not buying them at garden centers or planting them in your landscape. (I’m guilty of owning a Chinese pistache, which was encouraged in our area and planted widely by the city before it was discovered to reseed readily and become invasive in natural areas.)
View the proposed plan online at www.wildflower.org/docs_coa/.
Public meetings will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3 at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325. If you can’t attend a meeting, you still can comment on the proposed plan online.