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Gardeners & Pet Owners Can Help!
Gardeners & Pet Owners Can Help!
Native Plants

​​​​​​​​​​​​Exotic garden plants and pets can escape and invade native ecosystems!

Plant Native Species

Landscape with plants native to your area. Native plants require less water, fertilizers, and pesticides and often provide advantages for wildlife such as food, cover or nesting sites for butterflies or birds.

Avoid Seed Mixes

Stay away from seed mixtures, especially ones labeled “wildflowers.”

Use Caution 

Use caution when buying plants or seeds on the internet or by mail order—you may unknowingly contribute to the spread of invasive species from one part of the country to another. Plants native to one region can be invasive in another region.

Never Release

Do not dispose of aquarium water, pond plants or animals into local water bodies. Some exotic plants and animals sold for water gardens and aquaria are highly invasive.

Dispose Correctly​​

Discard unwanted seeds, plants or garden clippings in the garbage, not in natural areas or parks. Respond aggressively and a​​ct quickly to rid your land of noxious weeds and other invasive species.​​

Teachers ​are pet owners too! 

  • Educate yourself and children on the exotic animal you are interested in buying. Are you willing and able to keep the pet for its entire life?

  • Buyer Beware! Only buy from reputable dealers where non-native pets are properly labeled, legally imported, and not harboring foreign pests or diseases.​

  • Don’t Let it Loose! Do not release aquarium fish, plants or animals of any kind into the wild. They may prey on native species or spread disease. If you no longer want your pet or classroom animal, return it to a local pet shop or give it to a shelter, hobbyist, school, nursing home or veterinarian, and throw all aquarium plants into the trash.

  • Don’t Move It! Never take plants or animals from one habitat to another. By moving a species even from one stretch of river to another, you may have inadvertently introduced an invasive species, upset the balance of the ecosystem, and spread disease.​