We in Beverly Shores are fortunate to live in a beautiful woodland environment in the Indiana Dunes, surrounded by the Great Marsh to the south and Lake Michigan to the north. We have more biodiversity in our area than can be found just about anywhere else in the U.S. We have arctic species that are a legacy of the glaciers that dug Lake Michigan, as well as plants from the south and west, like wild orchids and prickly pear cactus.
The environment that has allowed so many native species to thrive has also proven to be attractive to invasive plant species that constitute a major threat to native plants. The photo at the top of this page includes multiple invasives side by side. The butterbur, japanese knotweed, and multiflora rose are labeled. Look closely and you will see English ivy as well. Garlic mustard grows a few steps away; bamboo lines the garden across the street. Within a block of the photo, you can find bush honeysuckle, oriental bittersweet, a large stand of lily-of-the-valley, Japanese barberry, and burning bush. The woodland floor is covered by periwinkle (Vinca Minor, also called myrtle). Each of these invaders appears to be expanding, and some are so aggressive that they promise to form monocultures, squeezing out native plants and plant diversity in the areas they successfully attack.
The Environmental Restoration Group is fighting back. Our Tree-of-Heaven program has managed to eliminate literally thousands of these Chinese tree invaders from roadsides throughout Beverly Shores. We are now turning to working with homeowners to eliminate the Tree of Heaven from private property. We are mapping and monitoring invasives throughout Beverly Shores. Working together with the National Park Service, we have organized work days to remove invasives such as black locust and Lombardy poplar along Lake Michigan. We have cooperated with the Beverly Shores Park Board to remove invasives from Lituanica Park, with the Shirley Heinze Land Trust to clear invasives from portions of their extensive Beverly Shores holdings, and are also joining with the ABSR Environment Committee to pull garlic mustard throughout Beverly Shores. Finally, we provide extensive educational opportunities including the materials on this website, speakers at the Beverly Shores Sunday Speakers Series, the Bob Beglin Garden where you can see appropriate native plants for you garden, and numerous articles in Sand Tracks. Click on any of the pictures below for a brief information sheet for that invasive plant. Click the button below for a list of Terry Bonace's series, Dune Plants: Friends and Foes. Terry's informative articles provide more details for identifying and controlling invasive species as well as suggestions for appropriate native plants that can be used in place of the invasive in question.