Wednesday, March 21, 2007

By The Buy

According to this press release, the Nature Conservancy has formed an interesting partnership with the Midwest US supermarket/department store chain Meijer. Starting this spring, Meijer will be offering Nature Conservancy-branded plants in their garden center. The plants, which will make up 16% of Meijer's nursery inventory (not sure if that's number of species or total number of plants), will be marked as "Recommended Non-Invasive" with a special icon, and presumably include both native plants and non-native plants deemed to be non-invasive. Included on the list are species such as purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and white pine (Pinus strobus).

In addition to their new sales campaign, Meijer has voluntarily committed to removing two invasive plant species from their inventory: Norway maple (Acer platanoides) and Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra). They will also be donating money to help with invasive plant management and making an effort to educate both the public and their own nursery workers about invasive plants.


Biotunes said...

I don't know how widespread this chain is, but with the stores stock locally noninvasive species? Or are they being conservative and not selling anthing that is known to be invasive anywhere they have stores?

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

My impression is that the other 84% of the nursery stock is going to be pretty much whatever Meijer wants to sell, and this likely includes at least some known invasives (I doubt Norway maple and Lombardy poplar were the only ones they sell). But I applaud them on their efforts nonetheless, and I suspect that if their partnership with TNC continues it will lead to even more improvements in their attitude about the ecological impacts of what plants they sell.

Personally, I am interested in seeing the full list of TNC-branded plants because I am quite curious about which non-natives they are pushing.

The Apostrophe Cop said...

One of the local nurseries is selling Ligustrum species - even as I try to kill the invasive ones on my property.

Grrr. It isn't even that pretty, y'know?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jennifer, thanks for sharing the good news. I found your blog and the press release after being lured here by "the Paris Hilton of trees."