Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership
About the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership
The Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) is a volunteer effort to respond to the explosion of invasive plants on our public lands. The partnership was formed in 2014 as a cooperative effort of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT), the Harpswell Town Lands Committee, the Harpswell Conservation Commission, the Harpswell Recreation Committee, the Mitchell Field Committee, the Harpswell Garden Club, and residents.
What are invasive plants and why are they so aggressive?
The Maine Natural Areas Program defines invasive plants as those “that are not native to a particular ecosystem, whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” They can reduce the diversity of native plants by competing for critical resources like sunlight, water, nutrients, and space. They succeed through vigorous growth, prolific reproduction, and other means. The pests that keep them in check in their native areas are not usually present here. And along with a change in plant communities comes a web of impacts on other organisms.