Nov. 27, 2023-- High School North's Katie Culbert has acquired many titles throughout her academic career at Toms River Regional Schools. She is the National 4-H Pollinator Week Ambassador, a many-time science fair champion, governor's award winner, the NJ 4-H Pollinator Habitat Ambassador and, of course, the New Jersey Honey Queen.
Now, she's hoping to add legislative-bill passer to the list.
"Inspired by my research this summer at MIT on native plants and honey bee forage," Culbert said. "I am hopeful I can garner early support for my 'Bill #A5764: Parks, Plants, and Pollinators' introduced by Assemblyman Alex Sauickie into the NJS Assembly."
According to Culbert, native plants are an inseparable part of the natural beauty of the landscape of New Jersey and must be preserved. The legislation for which she's seeking support is designed to promote the NJ-DEP use of native plants in landscaping, land management, reforestation efforts, and habitat restoration in New Jersey State Parks and Forests by establishing a grant program to prohibit the planting of non-native and invasive plants.
New Jersey’s native plant species provide food, such as nectar, pollen, seeds, foliage, and habitats, including essential shelter and nesting sites for various types of wildlife in the State. With their extensive root systems to control erosion, native plants moderate floods and filter water to improve water quality.