Senator Vin Gopal’s resolution recognizing the importance of native plants to the state’s ecosystems and designating April as “New Jersey Native Plant Month” has passed both houses of the State Legislature.
“We need to encourage increased cultivation and ongoing regenerative care of native plants throughout the state and our resolution will increase public awareness of the many benefits of native plants,” said Gopal (D-Monmouth). “We’re really in a battle with a number of invasive species of insects and plants and we need to increase the presence and health of plants native to our state to effectively fight back.”
Gopal was a primary sponsor of Joint Resolution 110 along with Senator Andrew Zwicker, (D-Hunterdon County), and Assembly members Sterley S. Stanley, (D-Middlesex), Shama A. Haider (D-Bergen) and John F. McKeon (D-Essex). The joint resolution enjoyed bipartisan support, passing both houses in a combined vote of 72-1-0 last Thursday.
“We are grateful for the advocacy of all the garden clubs that supported the resolution,” Gopal said.
The resolution calls on the governor to issue an annual proclamation recognizing April as New Jersey Native Plants Month and calling on public officials, businesses, educational institutions and residents to observe the month by planting or providing care to encourage growth of native plants and removing non-native invasive species. New Jersey Native Plants Month replaces “Native Plants Appreciation Month,” which has been observed each June in the state.
“Native plants are critical to the health of the state’s many complex and interdependent ecosystems. When we protect and encourage the growth of native plant species we are protecting crops and wildlife as well as the environment,” Gopal said.
Senator Vin Gopal is chair of the Senate Education Committee. He represents residents of Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbor, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Township, and West Long Branch.