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Governor's Invasive Species Council Celebrates Pennsylvania Native Species Day

May 25, 2023 10:00 AM
By: Zachary Appleby

Last week, PennDOT joined other members of the Governor's Invasive Species Council in Chester County to underscore the importance of sustaining native plants, insects, and animals during the second annual Pennsylvania Native Species Day.

The Governor's Invasive Species Council, chaired by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, includes seven state agencies and 14 organizations in local government, environmental advocacy, and agriculture and other industries.North Creek Employee23100_dep_nativeSpecies_cz_30.jpg

The council created Pennsylvania Native Species Day to celebrate the state's diverse native plants, insects, and animals and increase Pennsylvanians' understanding of the importance of protecting them against the proliferation of invasive species.

PennDOT's Chief Executive Director of Highway Administration, Jon Fleming was among the council representatives invited to speak.Flowers 23100_dep_nativeSpecies_cz_01.jpg

"Working in hand with everyday Pennsylvanians and our partners across the state is critical to addressing threats to biodiversity at every stage," said Fleming.

Fleming also noted that PennDOT's roadside seed mixture updates went into effect this year, removing key non-native species, and its Keystone Pollinator Habitat Program is providing transportation rights-of-way for native, pollinator-positive plantings.

Other speakers included:

  • Kristopher Abell, Governor's Invasive Species Council Coordinator
  • Dana Rhodes, Chief, Plant Protection, Dept. of Agriculture
  • Susan Weaver, Program Manager, Compacts & Commissions Support, Office of Water Programs, DEP
  • Rebecca Bowen, Director, Wild Resource Conservation Program, DCNR
  • Bob Caccese, Director of Policy, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Scott Bearer, Habitat Planning and Development Division Chief, Pennsylvania Game Commission
  • Rob McHale, President, Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association
  • Steve Castorani, Owner, North Creek Nurseries

Kris Abell 23100_dep_nativeSpecies_cz_14.jpgAfter the ceremony, North Creek Nurseries owner Steve Castorani gave a tour of the grounds, highlighting native gardens and a stormwater management system that includes native species.

Video and photos of today's event is available at

For more information, see

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