gardens on guard
First launched in 2011, the Sentinel Plant Network is a collaboration between the American Public Gardens Association and the National Plant Diagnostic Net-work. The program relies on public gardens to serve as early detectors for new or existing plant pests and diseases.
As a new member of the Sentinel Plant Network, Stoneleigh: a natural garden joins 250 gardens across the continent that regularly contribute reports and observations about pathogens and pests they observe on their properties.
Once problem pests—like gypsy moth caterpillars, emerald ash borers, or spotted lanternflies—establish themselves in a new region, it is incredibly costly to manage them, both in terms of environmental impact and economic loss. In most cases, eradication and containment programs are most effective when the organism is identified early on.
“As our climate changes, plants that have thrived in our region are under stress from warming temperatures, making them even more vulnerable to new diseases and destructive insects,” said Ethan Kauffman, director of Stoneleigh. “Public gardens like Stoneleigh and many others in the region can play an important role in helping to sound an early alarm for the plant pests and pathogens of tomorrow.”