All Shade Tree Commission meetings start at 6:30pm in the Caucus Room at West Cape May Borough Hall, 732 Broadway, West Cape May.
THE WORLD'S GREATEST MIGRATION
presented by Joseph McMahon, former Shade Tree Commission Member and Master Gardener
Did you know that the Borough of West Cape May stands smack in the middle of the greatest bird and butterfly migration throughout the entire world? It's true. Each year, in the spring, tens of thousands of birds and butterflies can be seen in this area, as they migrate north to their favorite ancestral nesting sites. This incredible sojourn is repeated in the fall when scores of birds and butterflies enjoy a return to West Cape May for rest before heading to their winter homes in the southern regions.
About fifty years ago, the spectacular migration was headed for serious trouble when traditional wildlife areas were taken over by an unprecedented housing boom. More and more feeding grounds were lost to housing construction, which diminished wildlife habitats. Fortunately, a need to preserve these habitats garnered public emphathy. Moreover, the important contribution that native plants play to enhance migratory patterns was becoming both recognized and appreciated.
In local landscapes, native plants are needed to start and maintain a successful backyard wildlife habitat. Native plants provide not only food and shelter for wildlife, but also cover and safe refuge. Other key benefits of native plants in your backyard are their penchant for conserving water; what's more, they don't require a lot of individual care. Plus, native plants can tolerate climate changes closely associated with seaside living.
The plants listed below are considered native to the Lower Cape May Region and a good way to start small:
Northern Bayberry (M. pensylvanica)
Common Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Hawthorns (Crataegus spp)
Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)
Red Chokeberry (Aronia Arbutifolia)
Smooth Winterberry (Ilex Laevigata)
Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)