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District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776


What is Biodiversity?
By Rep. Steven Mentzer (R-Lititz)
According to Wikipedia, biological diversity or biodiversity, is defined as ‘The variability within species, between species and between ecosystems,’ in other words, the ‘variety and variability of life on Earth.’ Over the years, I have made an effort to plant new trees and shrubs in my yard, especially Black Walnut and Black Locust. I enjoy the shade these trees provide, so I went to a nursery and was informed that they were not available due to a lack of demand for native trees. I was determined to find a Black Locust and finally found some at a small nursery specializing in native plants.

It was not until two local gentleman came to my office to discuss invasive plants, that I soon realized how important that the types of trees and shrubs we buy and plant affect our environment. Let me explain, some plants like the burning bush are considered invasive plants because they do not function well in our local environment. While they might hold up well and look good, they do not provide what is necessary for our local ecosystem. In other words, insects and animals are resistant to them and they do not allow for a natural food supply and shelter.

So, what can we do about this?

The first thing is simply being aware of what we are planting. Now that I have been informed, I will stick to the list of trees and plants that fit into our region’s ecosystem. We can encourage our local nurseries to sell and designate an area for native trees and plants. If you are interested in a list of which non-invasive trees and shrubs to plant, please visit repmentzer .com and click on the “Biodiversity” banner and download the document.
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