Why Protect Rare Plants?

Wild plant species offer a bank of chemical and genetic information that humans may be very grateful to have available in the future, as they are the source of many products that benefit mankind. Over half of all medicines are derived from them. Our ability to produce food, fiber, building materials, to name just a few, relies on the continued availability of different genetic strains of plants in the wild. . In particular, because the rare plants in the Pine Hill Preserve thrive on inhospitable infertile soils, they may eventually teach us lessons about rehabilitating degraded lands or using marginal lands. All native plants are integral to the function of ecosystems. The air we breathe, the water we consume, and the landscape we live within are linked in a fundamental way to the native plants around us.

At the Pine Hill Preserve, we find a unique collection of rare plants that exist nowhere else on Earth. The protection of these species and their habitat is of worldwide concern. When species become endangered, it is an indicator that the health of these vital ecosystems is beginning to unravel, and that we must work to protect an irreplaceable resource. Our quality of life and that of future generations depends on our responsible stewardship of this invaluable inheritance.