Invasive Species Removal: Investing in More Than Just the Environment


The problems associated with invasive plant species have traditionally been recognized as having the greatest impacts on agriculture, forestry, and native biodiversity, and some park agencies are beginning to invest resources into the management of invasives. In the Charlotte, NC metro area, the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation recently approved an overhaul of the county’s Environmental Leadership Policy to specifically address invasive species removal on all parklands. While the intent is primarily focused on preserving and protecting native biodiversity, other benefits are becoming evident — especially in urban park settings.

Participants in this peer-to-peer conversation will discuss the co-benefits of invasive species removal beyond traditional biodiversity preservation goals, including urban greening, environmental justice, community collaboration, volunteerism/advocacy, and community resilience.


Chris Matthews

Division Director, Nature Preserves and Natural Resources, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department