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Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership Offers Home Visits

HIPP-help volunteer Linda Wilkins, left, advises Nancy and George Kinser on how to control invasive plants on their Bailey Island property.

By Don Westfall

Last summer, Nancy and George Kinser looked around their Bailey Island property and found some unfamiliar visitors in the garden. Among their own plantings were a few exceptionally vigorous newcomers.

Through her membership in the Harpswell Garden Club, Nancy had heard about the spread of invasive plants and a program to help combat them, the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership, or HIPP.

They contacted HIPP and requested a site visit and evaluation. HIPP volunteer Linda Wilkins walked the property with them and identified invasives that had begun to crowd out native plants and disrupt the natural life cycles of pollinators, butterflies and birds. HIPP coordinates the efforts of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, the Garden Club, the Conservation Commission, the Town Lands,
Recreation and Mitchell Field committees, and a group of active volunteers. HIPP conducts surveys of public lands to find invasives, organizes work parties to remove them, and provides education programs.

On May 22 at 5:30 p.m., HIPP will conduct a workshop at the land trust offices at 153 Harpswell Neck Road to help landowners identify and learn how to control invasive plants (click here for more information). This summer, the group plans to offer the numerous private road associations in Harpswell the opportunity for training sessions during which members can create an action plan for their unique areas.

The benefits of consulting HIPP are obvious to the Kinsers.

“We appreciate Linda coming to our house and identifying invasive plants in our yard. It was a big help,” Nancy Kinser said. “Now we have the task of getting rid of them!”

Click here for more information about requesting a visit from a HIPP plant expert.

This article was published in the Harpswell Anchor in May 2018.