In 2008, the Seneca Park Zoo chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers joined the New York State Adopt-A-Highway program. We adopted a patch of highway on the westbound side of Route 104, just before the Bay Bridge. About 67,000 cars cross this bridge daily.
In addition to cleaning up the litter, we are also maintaining a Grow Native flower garden. Native plants such as daisies. spring plox, spring lupines, black-eyed susans and coreopsis have adapted so well that they require much less care such as watering and fertilizing than their exotic, ornamental counterparts.
However, survival of our native plants is threatened by exotic invasive plants such as purple loosestrife, swallow wort and Japanese knotweed. Invasive plants lack enemies, thus overgrowing and out-competing our native plants, which alters habitat and endangers wildlife. The invasive purple loosestrife chokes out and shades our wetlands making it impossible for the warm summer sun to reach incubating spotted and bog turtle eggs. Yes, invasive plants are killing our turtles.
Avoid adding invasive, perennial plants listed below to your home garden. Pull these plants from your property before they seed. Discourage garden centers from selling the invasive plants. For a list of invasive plants please click here.
GROW NATIVE! Landscape your yard with native New York plants. To learn more about native plants, please click here. Encourage your garden centers to sell native, indigenous plants and seeds.
Read more about Zoo staff's efforts with the Adopt-A-Highway program here.
For more information on the Adopt-a-Highway program please click here.