From The Coast Star
Over the past month, a group of volunteer residents have been doing cleanups at Edgemere Park, Cresent Park, The Terrace, Bell Place, and the Library’s green spaces to help rid the areas of non-native invasive plants.
Councilwoman Diane Anthony said, “This is not unique to Sea Girt and other municipalities are also making their best efforts based on environmental and scientific-evidence-based research on how to take care of these non-native invasive vines, with the full intent of planting new native species in those areas.”
Ms. Anthony thanked fellow council members for their support in the removal of non-native invasive plants and credited the movement to the borough and The Sea Girt Conservancy.
Mike Matthews, board member of the Sea Girt Conservancy, said, “Sea Girt has a few really treasured open space areas that I’m afraid to say have been neglected for some time. The important thing to keep in mind is that doing nothing doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. By doing nothing, we are allowing invasive plants to take over and occupy the space more desirable plants could be.”
“What we’ve initiated is an integrated pest-management approach to the problems that exist. That involves mechanical, which people are seeing now with forest remowing. And then there will be some follow up curbside applications, and then once the areas are under control, a replanting effort,” said Mr. Matthews.
Mr. Matthews has an undergraduate degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in weed science from Rutgers University and has been working in vegetation for 35 years.
“I’ve done a lot of integrated pest-management work internationally in places such as Uganda and Egypt, working with the U.S. State Department,” said Mr. Matthews.
“This initiative has not just happened overnight. It has been out in the open via so many different channels, including articles in the Coast Star and through different events the borough has had sponsored since 2019, and also private discussions have taken place between neighbors. I just want to have the opportunity out there for anyone in the public to please review the resources that are out there. I want to thank you for your patience with this and it may look rather unsightly, but please consider the long-term benefits of this in our parks and open spaces,” said Ms. Anthony.