My name is Andrew Zucker, I am an Eagle Scout who has a passion for environmental conservation, and to finding ways to improve my community’s awareness on conservation. Currently, I am working on my Hornaday Award, the highest recognition you can receive in Boy Scouts for those who make a difference in conservation.
My passion for conservation came from the time I was working on my Eagle Project. I wanted to find a project where I could learn about indigenous plant species in the local area, and how they are being effected by invasive plant species. I wanted to know how I could control their growth, and to understand the socioeconomic effects that they can have on communities, by being fuel for fires, or forcing an unbalanced ecosystem in its given environment.
For my Eagle Scout project I selected to work in the Moraga, CA area to research and remove, which invasive plant species that were effecting the local environment. The two species of plants that I discovered were Scotch broom Cytisus scoparius, and French broom Genista monspessulana. These plants grow at an extremely fast rate and take up space where native plants can grow. However, this does not only affect plant diversity but also animal diversity. There are almost no nutritional benefits or edible parts of the plants for our animals to eat.
As citizens we have the duty of protecting our ecosystem, and in this drought we need to be more vigilant than ever. Unfortunately, as broom dies more broom grows back, which is why I planned to plant oak seedlings in the place of the broom to give them a head start this spring but regrettably my seedlings died in the drought.
I hope all of you who read this understand the danger that invasive species impose on our ecosystem and will take opportunities to help our environment when you can.