The Providential Gardener received the following press release from the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, which I'm publishing in its entirety:
PROTECT RHODE ISLAND’S PLANTS
PLANTS USED FOR DECORATIONS
As the holiday season approaches, many of us are beginning to think about natural decorations: wreaths of hemlock, sprigs of holly, boughs of fir, twining or ground pine, vases of sea lavender…we love the colors, textures, and smells of these gifts from nature. Unfortunately, many of our plants are in danger of being loved to death as people tramp the woods and fields in search of them, and dealers in holiday decorations strip our public lands.
There is a law to protect these plants. It is known as the “Christmas Greens” law (State of R.I. & Providence Plantations, Chapter 15, General Laws 1956, 2-15-12 through 2-15-17). It is illegal to take a part, or the whole, of any plant protected by this law, unless you are on your own property, or have written permission from the owner of a property.
All plants on state property are protected; this includes state parks, management areas, state beaches and salt marshes. You must have written permission from the Department of Environmental Management to dig or cut plants in these areas. All plants on Nature Conservancy and Audubon Society of Rhode Island properties are also protected.
Visit the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society website at www.riwps.org to view illustrations of plants protected by the Christmas Greens law. There are many. Please respect this law and encourage others to respect it too. Try to avoid purchasing decorations from dealers who steal from public lands or private property of others, and let them know why you won’t purchase from them.
For further information, contact the RIWPS office
(401) 789-7497 or www.riwps.org
~ Prepared by the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, Inc., PO Box 414, Exeter, RI 02822 ~
The Rhode Island Wild Plant Society is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and propagation of our native plants.