Greenport Village considers a bamboo ban

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Because fast-growing, fast-spreading bamboo doesn't recognize property lines, Greenport is hoping to avoid jungle-like pockets of the invasive species like this one in Cutchogue.

Following a legislative trend occurring in western Suffolk, Greenport Village officials announced last week they are looking into the feasibility of outlawing bamboo.

After an informal village code committee meeting Friday at the Little Red Schoolhouse, Mayor David Nyce told The Suffolk Times the village is exploring a bamboo ban in response to a resident’s concern about the fast-growing invasive species.

There are hundreds of varieties of bamboo — some more invasive than others — and several towns on Long Island, including Brookhaven, Smithtown, Huntington and Babylon, are considering restrictions on planting it.

Kate Fullam of the Southold-based Group for the East End said her organization supports a ban on invasive bamboo species.

“Bamboo, in general, is not a good plant used to protect the local environment,” Ms. Fullam said. “It first seems harmless and looks pretty. Then, all of sudden, it takes over a neighboring lot.”

Although bamboo anxiety has increased on Long Island in recent years, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said discussions about banning it haven’t reached the town level — yet.

“I know it’s a growing concern, especially in western towns,” Mr. Russell said. “I think it’s going to be something the town will have to take up at some point in the future.”

Since only four of the seven village code committee members were present at Friday’s monthly meeting, the group took no action on the proposed bamboo ban. The next meeting will be held in July.

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