Speak Up – Elevate Native Plants in Public Policy
Here is an opportunity to promote public policies that support native plants and habitat across Virginia.
Pursuant to the 2021 General Assembly’s approval of H. J. Res 527, a state workgroup called the Invasive Species Workgroup is preparing recommendations to examine measures and make recommendations to reduce, mitigate, and eliminate the sale and use of invasive plants.
The workgroup is tasked with making recommendations to the 2022 General Assembly “regarding statutory and regulatory changes intended to reduce or eliminate the sale and use of invasive plant species in the Commonwealth and promote the sale and use of native plants.”
The workgroup has representatives from the industry, government, and conservation groups, which means that all viewpoints will be considered. The industry groups are the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association; Virginia Agribusiness Council; the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation; Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; American Hort and the Virginia Forestry Association. The conservation groups are the Virginia Native Plant Society, Blue Ridge PRISM, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Garden Clubs of Virginia and the Nature Conservancy. It is unclear to what degree the various government representatives and two university representatives will participate or offer proposals.
Participate in Meetings
The workgroup’s next meeting is July 28 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in-person at Pocahontas State Park and is an opportunity to make recommendations to the workgroup.
Future meeting dates have not been announced. Every meeting has a public comment period and it is critical that this workgroup not just receive comments but that they hear specific recommendations from the public.
H. J. Res. 527, sponsored by Delegate David Bulova in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly, established this workgroup. Senator David Marsden had a companion Senate bill. You can read Delegate Bulova’s bill here: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?212+sum+HJ527