The Nature Conservancy and Meijer stores are working together again to encourage shoppers to select non-invasive plants, trees and shrubs for their backyard gardens this Spring – and are making it easy by offering “Recommended Non-Invasive” plants at all 185 Meijer stores throughout the Midwest.
“As the name suggests, invasive species wreck havoc on local ecosystems by upsetting the balance found in nature,” said Josh Knights, executive director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “Without meaning to, consumers sometimes spread invasive species through purchases from garden centers. This ongoing partnership between Meijer and The Nature Conservancy will give them the information they need to make more responsible choices.”
“Providing healthy choices for our customers through our nutrition and lifestyle offerings is a key part of our business philosophy,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO. “We believe that by providing our customers with earth-friendly information in a fun and informative way, we are empowering them to healthy choices for our earth as well.”
Invasive plants are those that have negative effects on our economy, environment or human health. They can quickly overwhelm native plants by reducing the availability of light, water, nutrients and space. Commonly known invasives include plants such as purple loosestrife and garlic mustard, which are found throughout the state. Since the partnership with the Conservancy began, Meijer has removed three known invasive plants from their inventory: privet, Norway maple and Lombardy poplar.
According to Nature Conservancy scientists, almost all invasive plants are non-native, but not all non-native plants become invasive. Hundreds of non-native plants have become established in the Midwest yet relatively few become invasive. Experts say that invasive species cost Americans about $137 billion every year in losses.
Conservancy scientists developed criteria for recommending plants, trees and shrubs that will carry the Conservancy’s logo on tags in Meijer Garden Centers. Up to 16 percent of Meijer’s plants, trees and shrubs have a special icon created by The Nature Conservancy indicating “Recommended Non-Invasive.”
Species that will receive the special icon on tags redesigned this year include:
• Purple coneflower (flower)
• White pine (tree)
• Big blue stem (grass)
• Flowering dogwood (tree)
Meijer is proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy on this important project to make an impact on invasive species to protect our natural landscape. To learn more about what Meijer is doing to help the environment, visit www.nature.meijer.com.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.