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Indiana News

South Bend Common Council Bans Some Invasive Plant Species

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Many trees and shrubs have burst into bloom lately, and as nice as they may be to look at, not all of them are good for the environment – some are invasive, meaning they outcompete native species and upset the local ecosystem.

The South Bend Common Council moved to ban some of those invasive plant species at its meeting on Monday.

The state banned the sale and propagation of 44 invasive plant species in 2019. However, there are still 47 plants listed by the Indiana Invasive Species Council that don’t fall under that ban.

 

Steve Sass, chair of the city's Ecological Advocacy Committee, says the new changes to the South Bend city code simply reconcile the two lists.

 

“We’re closing the gap on some of these nursery items that were perhaps left off because they were still profitable for nurseries,” Sass said.

 

The list of newly-banned species includes the Bradford pear tree, English ivy and periwinkle. 

 

Venues, Parks and Arts Director Aaron Perri said the ban doesn’t apply to plants already in the ground. While his department can enforce the ban, he said he’d much rather educate people on how to replace invasive plants with native species. 

 

“It’s not our intent to go out and police these things,” Perri said. “Of course, we do want to work on mitigation over the course of time, but we’re not going backwards and asking people to remove anything.”

 

Perri said the city’s ban will go into effect “just in advance of the fall planting season” on September 1. He said that should give landscaping firms and nurseries time to adjust their inventories and comply with the new rules.

 

Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.

 

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