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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ruth Platner advocates planting invasive plants

by Tom Ferrio

After last night's Planning Commission meeting I was chatting with our research staff and I was asked "Why is Ruth advocating for planting an invasive species?" I didn't understand so asked for more background.

"Ruth pushed the town to plant more Beach Roses around the town beach parking lot. Its scientific name is Rosa Rugosa and it's been designated an invasive plant in 19 states including Rhode Island."

I remembered hearing the discussion but didn't remember the details so I wasted spent a bunch of time listening to the video this morning. I can't give you a direct link to the discussion. It comes up several times but the strongest point can be heard on the video at about 30 minutes and 10 seconds.

Well, I admit saying she's advocating invasive species is a bit of an overstatement. But I have heard the boast that most members of the Planning Commission are former members of the Conservation Commission. (I don't see how that is something to brag about unless to favor the eliminating people altogether from Charlestown.)

Since Planning is so dedicated to environmental things like Dark Skies, invisible cell towers, banning wind turbines, etc. it makes sense to me that doing their part to fight invasive species should also be high on their list.

I have to admit that I have always thought the Beach Rose to be an attractive welcome to the beach. After reading the following materials provided by the Progressive Charlestown research team I will look at them in a new light. Do I need a special permit for a flame thrower?

Here is the invasive species list from the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society.
Here is a profile of Rosa Rugosa.
From the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England

Perhaps the next big campaign in town can be to plant more Autumn Olive. I hear the berries make great jelly if you can get them before the birds do.