Celebrating Biodiversity

19 Jul

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About 20 Cambridge Mayor’s Program teens learned about watersheds, swales, biodiversity and nature in their own backyards today at the park. Mass Audubon educators engaged them with bug nets and binoculars as they examined insects (gathered from the swale) up close and birds and bees at a distance.

Afterwards, Elisabeth Cianciola of the Charles River Watershed Association led the students in removing purple loosestrife from the western swale. (See purple flower above.) While beautiful, this plant is non-native and invasive–it takes over! It has a long flowering season that allows it to produce a vast number of seeds. And it spreads by its roots.

We need biodiversity–which is why we’re making an effort to get rid of the phragmites, which has taken over most of the eastern swale, and the loosestrife, which is colonizing the western one! Vive la difference!

 

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