Many thanks to our seventh-grade Girl Scouts (Troop 95902), who distributed over 100 Wildscape door hangers on homes abutting our waterways and parks. Among other tips to keep our Wildscapes happy and healthy and pleasurable for everyone’s use, these door hangers also point out how the dumping of debris and garden clippings in our public spaces can be damaging to the natural environment.
Summary of its contents:
- Litter in parks is unattractive and encourages more dumping; it can contaminate the natural environment; and it can be consumed accidentally by wildlife
- The invasive spreading of common garden plants (like vines and wisteria) crowds out native species and potentially destroy forests
- Stay on official trails to prevent erosion and forest fragmentation
- Avoid adding natural materials that don’t belong in the park (like mulch, woodchips or gravel)
- Report dumped landscape debris to authorities as this is illegal (even natural yard waste like plants, weeds, grass clippings, branches or hardscape items) and can contain invasive plant seeds, exotic insects, horticultural diseases, and landscape chemicals that can harm the forest ecosystem.
- Report any other illegal activities such as bonfires, substance abuse, dumping, graffiti, vandalism, or felling trees in wildscape areas
- Keep informed of activities or events with the purpose of protecting our wildscapes. (Ridgewood Wildscapes Association frequently hosts clean-up events and educational nature walks
Many residents do not realize that just because they live next to a wildscape that this is not an extension of their yard.
We all need our wildscapes, our clean areas, our natural areas, and we need trees and native bushes and plants. These hardworking girls are our future leaders; big thank you to the whole group, including their leader Kate Wefald-Freeborn, who organized and led this effort.