Greenways support diversity

friendsPumpkinvine News

Early in the history of the Pumpkinvine Natural Trail, geneticist and naturalist Dr. Merle Jacobs emphasized that greenbelts like the Pumpkinvine are important corridors that connect plant and animal communities. On November 12, 2011, I attended the Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society annual conference at Indianapolis that reinforced Jacob’s point.  
The conference theme, “Connectivity & Corridors, “ illustrated the importance of greenway corridors from different contexts, e.g. Amazon and Indiana forests and Golden Lion Tamarins and local bumble bees. If fragments of forests remain isolated from each other, the diversity of plants and animals decreases over time in each fragment. See the greenway dimension of the Pumpkinvine on Google maps: Pumpkinvine from CR 1100 W to 900 W
But green corridors, even a corridor only 80 feet wide, like the Pumpkinvine,  make it more likely that diverse plants and animals thrive in each fragment. Pollinating insects, ants and small rodents that disperse seeds, and birds that need the protection of tree canopy can travel from one small forest fragment to another. The next time you bike or hike our lovely Pumpkinvine you may want to think on all the living things besides us bipeds that profit from this crucial corridor.   (Submitted by John J. Smith, November 14, 2011)