Invasive Plants

Volunteers will have a hand in eradicating invasive plant species in East Lansing's natural areas. Invasive plants compete with native plants for nutrients, light and moisture, degrade wildlife habitats and threaten the future of forests, wetlands, prairies and other natural habitats. 

About Invasive Plants
  • Invasive plants are non-native species that can significantly disrupt natural communities causing environmental harm.
  • Invasive plants do not have the natural controls that native species in that area have. This allows for uninterrupted infestations.
  • Invasive plants can change their area by rapidly reproducing and their seeds can be very mobile through transportation by animals.
  • Invasive plants reduce the amount of sunlight, water, nutrients and space available to native plants, eventually out-competing and replacing native species.
How You Can Help
  • Volunteer your time to remove invasive plants. Early detection is key. Keep an eye out for invasive species.
  • Buy native alternatives to invasive plants and encourage local nurseries to sell native plant species.
  • Replant native plants so new invasive species won’t grow back.
  • Dispose of yard waste properly. Piles of yard waste decompose slowly and kill plants that they cover.
  • Stay on the park trails to keep from transporting invasive seeds.
  • Always clean off your clothes and shoes after visiting the park so not to transport seeds.
  • Keep pets on the trails so they do not pick up seeds on their fur.
Common Local Invasive Plants
Smooth gray bark and oval shaped leaves with veins running parallel to the lead margin.
Garlic Mustard
Garlic Mustard
Garlic Mustard is lightly toothed with kidney-shaped leaves. Stem leaves are alternate and triangular. The plant produces a garlic smell when crushed.
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is characterized by a woody, rope-like vine, and leaves usually appear in bunches of three. These leaves contain Urishiol oil, which may cause blisters and itchiness when it touches the skin.
Purple Loose-Strife
Purple Loose-Strife
This plant is 4 to 7 feet tall and has lance-shaped leaves with a stiff stem. Magenta flowers grow in a spike shape at the top of the plant.