ESI guest post: A look at Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
This is a guest post from Amani Armstrong-Morrow, a 2022 Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) fellow. ESI fellows design and carry out a capstone project during a six-week summer program. Amani researched the impacts of purple loosestrife, an invasive plant here in Minnesota, and offered solutions for slowing its spread. (Note: Opinions expressed in ESI projects are those of the program participant and do not necessarily represent those of FMR.)
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For my final project, I made a visual information board on what purple loosestrife does, where it came from, how it can create harm and how it can be stopped.
Why I chose this project
I was inspired by my aunt who went to school to study plants and graduated with a degree in biology. She is very vocal about her dislike for the plant and how harmful it is. So I decided to do this because she could help me out a bit, and so I could also learn a lot about this plant that shows up almost everywhere.
What I hope you take away
Each individual purple loosestrife plant has over 2 million seed pods, which spread each and every time the wind blows. The more it spreads the harder it is to get under control. Once it starts it's hard to stop.
FMR created the Environmental Stewardship Institute to address the gap between environmental education and a career path in the environmental field. We hold a summer intensive program and a school-year youth advisory council. Learn more about the 2022 ESI summer program, including other final projects.