Protecting NYC natives
According to Urban Ecologist Robert DeCandido, 60% of native plant species ever recorded in the State of New York can currently be found in New York City–a statistic DeCandido attributes to the City’s large public parks. Even so, populations of native species are shrinking in every borough except for Staten Island. Non-native species, including those planted in backyards and in parks, have crowded out or out-competed many natives.
While there might not seem to be the same public concern for plants as for animals in the public consciousness, there are at least a few groups out there working to protect natives, including our partners at the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, who are cultivating natives for ecological restoration work at Freshkills Park and elsewhere in New York City.