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PARK AND REC TO DISTRIBUTE VIDEO ABOUT ‘GREEN INVADERS’TO EDUCATE YOUNGSTERS ABOUT EXOTIC, INVASIVE PLANTS

September 14, 2009

Charlotte, NC— Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department will distribute an important new video called Green Invaders  The video is produced for children in grades 4-8, to teach them about  plants from other parts of the world that are “invading” gardens and natural areas in the Carolinas.
The nine minute video disc will be made available to school classes, clubs, scout groups, and others interested in gardening and preserving our natural environment. Park and Recreation’s Nature Preserves/Natural Resources Division will seek to distribute it through Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and to make it available for checkout at all branches of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
Kudzu is an example is a Green Invader. Other examples are Chinese privet, Autumn Olive and English Ivy. These plants are not native to the environment in the Carolinas.  They were brought here from other countries, intentionally or accidentally.  Sometimes such plants are sold locally in garden centers and building supply stores. They have no natural enemies here, so they spread with uncontrolled growth.  They often produce prolific seeds and over-run native vegetation.

The video shows how children working on a nature trail at Selwyn Elementary School in South Charlotte learned that “not all green is good.”  The students were shocked to learn that the greatest threat to their trail's native beauty wasn't pollution or development, but invasive exotic plants!  The video explains how out-of-control, invasive plants harm ecosystems and animal habitat, contribute to extinction of native species, and cost American taxpayers billions of dollars a year.

The Green Invaders video was produced by volunteers and funded by groups including Duke Energy and Project Learning Tree, North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council, Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation District, Myers Park High School’s Green Thumb Club, etc.  The video disc also includes a 21 page study guide in PDF format for use by educators.



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