Native Plants and Controlling Invasive Species

"Native plant" is a term to describe plants that are indigenous to a given area. This includes plants that have developed and occur naturally in an area. This tool describes the advantages of using native plants for soil conservation, as riparian buffers, landscaping, screening and other uses. Municipalities should consider requiring the use of native plants in for these purposes, and these requirements should be incorporated into the municipal ordinances.

"Invasive species" describes plants that grow aggressively with few limitations, and can include introduced species that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically. The tool also addresses the control of invasive plant species to preserve existing communities of native plants. These two actions promote a sustainable natural environment for all Landscape types in a municipality. (Animals can also be characterized as either native or invasive in a given geographic area, but this tool focuses on plants.)

native plantsAdvantages

Encouraging the use of native plants and controlling invasive species offer the following benefits:

Limitations

Encouraging the use of native plants and controlling invasive species can be difficult because:

How to Use This Tool

Requirements for the use of native plant species in new developments and the removal of invasive species should be incorporated into municipal ordinance language. The introductory paragraph to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code empowers all municipalities of Chester County to enact ordinances that, among other things, promote the conservation of energy.

Examples

Several municipalities address native and invasive species in their ordinances, including but not limited to:

Related References

Related Tools

Landscapes2 Relevance

The actions included in this tool are consistent with the goal for Natural Resources as presented in Chapter 5 of Landscapes2. The combination of using native plants and removing invasive plant species provides a variety of methods to conserve energy, and these methods are outlined in the Advantages section.