EATONTOWN – Municipal officials in Eatontown have amended the district’s land use ordinance to require the use of local plants and tree species in development.

On March 9, members of the district council passed a resolution amending the land use ordinance to include local plant species in the landscaping. The decree will ban the planting and cultivation of non-native and invasive plant species.

Under the terms of the ordinance, if the application requires 5 to 10 plantings to avoid monoculture, two or more different plant species will be required. In the presence of 11 to 20 plantings will require four or more species of plants, and in the case of 21 to 35 plantings – five or more species of plants.

In the development application, which has more than 36 plantings, additional species will be provided for every 12 plantings, and the minimum variety of plantings will be 10%, according to the decree.

Municipal officials said members of the Itantow Environment Commission and the Shadow Tree Commission had studied and made recommendations to the district council to require the use of local plants and tree species rather than invasive plants for development.

“The planting and / or cultivation of invasive species and plants that are not indigenous to the central environment of New Jersey has been destructive to the natural environment, indigenous flora, structures and walks and properties.

“Plants are local, hardy and well adapted to local soils and climate; have lower maintenance and replacement costs; more resistant to insects and diseases; and require less water and fertilizer than non-native plants, ”the ruling said.

The ordinance also says that wildlife, such as birds, relies on local plants with which they co-evolved, as food and shelter, and for raising children. Native plants have evolved to thrive in a particular region within specific ecosystems and maintain their ecosystems in more diverse ways than exotic plants.

“Planting and cultivation of invasive species threatens the value and physical integrity of both public and private property in the area,” the ruling said.

Although exotic plants are a source of nectar for wildlife, regulations state that their leaves, fruits, pollen and nectar are not usually the preferred food for local insects and wildlife.

Under the ordinance, the lack of proper habitat and food sources for native birds and insects is a factor in the decline in many species in the United States. Local plants are credited with helping to restore the ecological balance lost as a result of development.

“The district council believes that it is in the interests of its residents to adopt the recommendations of the environmental group and ban the planting and / or cultivation of certain intangible species in the area to protect and preserve the environment,” – said in a statement. .

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