Loving the native

Invasive species and the cultural politics of flourishing

Authored by: Jessica R. Cattelino

The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138786745
eBook ISBN: 9781315766355
Adobe ISBN: 9781317660194


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George Washington’s revolutionary spirit led him to remove non-American plants from his front garden at Mt. Vernon and secure ornamental specimens from across the new United States to adorn his estate. As historian Andrea Wulf explains in Founding Gardeners (22–33), his was the first ornamental garden in the United States to be planted with and for native species, in an act of independence. Certainly, his act was patriotic, but it was more: it was also a settler-colonial act, one that anchored him more directly to this land. Invasive species management and the embrace of native species are affective projects that operate distinctly in settler-colonial societies like the United States, past and present. No place better illustrates this than the Florida Everglades.

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