Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) - to identify and control the invasive plant species that severely impact native biodiversity

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Private and Public Property Owners Invited to Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

by Tina Casagrand
Private and Public Property Owners Invited to Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

Contact: Carol Davit, 573-356-7828, [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

Private and Public Property Owners Invited to Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants
The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force, a resource of the Grow Native! program, invites communities, campuses, businesses and other entities to commit to controlling the spread of invasive species on their properties.

Jefferson City, MO (December 3, 2018)—Property owners in Missouri are stitching a curtain of protection against invasive species spreading across the state. By taking the Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Species, administered by the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), stakeholders from private land, small businesses, the University of Missouri, and other entities are promising to not plant species known to be invasive. They are also budgeting economic and human resources toward controlling against the spread of invasive plants currently growing on their properties.

Few problems are as expensive, visible, and ignored as invasive plants. Estimated to cost the United States between $1.1 to 120 billion per year in economic losses, invasive plant species can lower property values, weaken ecosystem health, and threaten many facets of economic health, from the timber industry to livestock production. Because of their ability to thrive and aggressively spread in disturbed habitats, invasive plants can cost property owners thousands of dollars in remediation if not managed in the long-term. “The longer we ignore the problem the harder and more expensive the battle for control will become,” states the website of the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.

“We commend all pledge-takers for publicly demonstrating their dedicated effort to stopping the spread of invasive plants,” said Carol Davit, Executive Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the nonprofit conservation organization and land trust that operates the Grow Native! program, and serves as Chair of the program’s Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency group working as a united front to foster greater statewide early detection and control of invasive plants. “We invite other educational institutions, corporate campuses, municipalities, neighborhood associations, and other entities to take the pledge as well to signal their commitment to joining the fight to control invasive plants and mitigate the serious threats they pose.”

MoIP Task Force members developed the pledge with a number of benefits in mind. First, signing the pledge signals the signer will commit resources to control invasive species—action that is increasingly being demanded of campus, business, community, and other entities with invasive plants on that property. Second, the pledge helps stakeholders understand that controlling invasive plants will take time. Additionally, when a community or other entity lets its stakeholders know it has signed the pledge, it provides an opportunity for stakeholders to get involved in the effort.

“Invasive plants are serious threats to Missouri’s native ecosystems, as well as many native plants and animals, the built environment, and many facets of the state’s economy, including cattle production, the timber industry, and many aspects of outdoor recreation, including fishing and hunting industries,” said Davit. “Missouri will control invasive species only with the concerted efforts of many entities, including private citizens working together. Our state is a long-time, nationwide leader in natural resource conservation, and by committing to invasive plant control as well, we can further safeguard Missouri’s habitats, fish, wildlife, and other cherished aspects of our natural heritage.” MoIP encourages educational institutions, corporate campuses, municipalities, neighborhood associations, and other entities to take the pledge.

Entities wishing to sign the pledge may do so via a Google form available at www.moinvasives.org. The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) can also provide a pledge document suitable for signing ceremonies and framing. Many resources on the identification and control of invasive plants, including native alternatives to invasive plants, are available from MoIP as well.           

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The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) is a resource of Grow Native!, an 18-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. Grow Native!’s parent organization is the nonprofit Missouri Prairie Foundation. For more information about MoIP, visit www.moinvasives.org; for the Grow Native! program or the Missouri Prairie Foundation, visit www.grownative.org, www.moprairie.org, call 888-843-6739 or send a message to [email protected].

Missouri Invasive Plant Action Awards

by Tina Casagrand

Do you know an individual or group who performs outstanding work related to controlling invasive plant species on property in Missouri? If so, please nominate them for an Invasive Plant Action Award!

New in 2019, the nominations will be evaluated by members of the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), a resource of the Grow Native! program and the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

How to Nominate:

Use our online form: Nominate via Google Form.

Download & email form: Download and complete a Microsoft Word nomination form and email to [email protected] You may also download the PDF.

a few people cutting invasive plants among a winter woodland landscape

Honeysuckle Hack 2017, photo submitted by Jay Doty, Magnificent Missouri

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We will present one award in each category:

    1. Single Landowner – (e.g., a private landowner, a corporation, school, or other single entity that has demonstrated progress in reducing invasive plants over at least two years)
    2. Group Collaborators – a collaborative network (e.g., homeowners, city park, school, business) working together to fight the spread of invasive plants in a particular geographic area that includes multiple landowners.
    3. Researchers – An individual or group who has published research on invasive plant management.

To submit a nomination for the Missouri Invasive Plant Action Award, please submit this form by July 1, 2019

*If for some reason you cannot use Google forms, please download and complete a Microsoft Word nomination form and email to [email protected] You may also download the PDF.

Our intention for the 2019 awards is for a MoIP representative to present the awards at  events of the winners’ choice (for example, a municipal or industry conference), so they can be honored in front of their peers and thus lead by example.

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Requirements for Single Landowners and Group Collaborators:

    • Self-nomination is allowed.
    • Nomination must be submitted by or include a recommendation letter from a natural resources professional (this may include Missouri Department of Conservation Private Land Conservationist, staff of other agencies who work with private landowners, private contractors, or professional staff working for the single landowner)
    • 1-page narrative about the “before and after” work of the collaboration or group
    • For Group Collaborators, application describes work on multiple properties as part of a group
    • Evidence of a long-term invasive plant management plan
  • We ask that the nominee(s) has/have been active in their leadership for two or more years.

Requirements for Researchers:

  • 1-page description of the nominee’s research, including background, methods, results and discussion, and how this research applies to invasive plant control and management?
  • Link to published papers, if available.

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To Nominate:

Submit nominations by July 1, 2019.

Use our online form: Nominate via Google Form.

Download & email form: Download and complete a Microsoft Word nomination form and email to [email protected] You may also download the PDF.

Please direct questions to Tina Casagrand at [email protected]

Download Guidebook on Management of Invasive Plants & Pests of Illinois

by Tina Casagrand

A comprehensive guidebook on Management of Invasive Plants & Pests of Illinois is now available online as a free download:

The book includes clear and direct recommendations for management of ubiquitous and emerging invasive species, including Japanese Hops, Tree of Heaven, Multiflora Rose and many, many more!

Though the guide is for Illinois, the vast majority of these species occur in our region.  As to specific control recommendations, the authors use precise language and clear instruction (clearly stating percentages as v/v as opposed to % active ingredient, clearly differentiating between triclopyr ester and triclopyr amine, etc).

A phenology calendar is available in a special pull-out section.

We are grateful to SIU-Carbondale, Morton Arboretum and University of Illinois Extension for creating this fabulous resource!

Download the Guide here:

The Power of Partnerships: How Hard Work Plus Some Social Media Spread the Word about Invasive Callery Pear

by MoIP 0 Comments

On September 28, hard work on the part of Missouri Invasive Plant (MoIP) Task Force members culminated in a successful day. MU cut down a callery pear tree and became the first official signer of the MoIP Task Force Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Species. You can read the whole story here.

In addition to the dozens of people attending the ceremony, MoIP, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and others helped spread the word online.

Here are the results of that concentrated effort, from MoIP’s social media accounts.

 

MU CAFNR kicked it off in real-time.

A few minutes later, Carol Davit’s photos made it onto Instagram.

This post reached 470 accounts and was seen 698 times.

An Instagram story serialized the morning via 6 photos, along with text about our mission. Instagram stories were seen 76-116 times depending on the individual story (views were enhanced by location tagging and hashtags).

One Instagram story prompted a private message from a flower grower working on a tree ordinance for the City of Springfield that’s looking to address some invasive species issues (especially with the Callery Pear). She wanted our moinvasives email address to discuss someone to talk to to make sure their work is in line with what we are doing.

In total, we made 1,216 impressions last week on Twitter.

And then Carol’s photos were on Twitter…

MU got in on the action with a Retweet:

Which earned 12,000+ impressions

Lately, average MoIP Twitter impressions range between 75 to 250, so this is huge.

And of course, Facebook had to get in on the action. This link to our blog post reached nearly 1,800 people, earned 99 engagements (clicks, likes, hearts) 9 shares, and 24 link clicks.

Mizzou Botanic Garden Cuts Down Pear Tree & Takes the Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

by MoIP 0 Comments
Mizzou Botanic Garden Cuts Down Pear Tree & Takes the Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

Mizzou Botanic Garden Cuts Down Pear Tree & Takes the Pledge to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force, a resource of the Grow Native! program, invites communities, campuses, businesses and other entities to follow Mizzou Botanic Garden’s example and take the pledge to control the spread invasive species on their property.

Jefferson City, MO (September 28, 2018)—This morning, the first of eight Callery pear trees on the Columbia campus of the University of Missouri was cut down—not by vandals, but by university officials. During the invasive plant awareness and educational event, officials not only removed the invasive, non-native tree, but also signed a pledge signaling the Mizzou Botanic Garden’s continued commitment to control other invasive plant species on campus. The remaining seven trees will be removed the week of Oct. 1, 2018.

            “These pear trees, located in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) courtyard, were planted in 1998 as part of the landscaping for the new Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building for their profusion of spring blossoms and brilliant fall foliage,” said Pete Millier, Director of Mizzou Botanic Garden, a designation for the campus. “Now, however, we know better,” said Millier, “and the Mizzou Botanic Garden is committed to stopping the spread of this pretty but highly invasive tree and other non-native invasive plants that threaten native biodiversity and are problematic for farmers and other landowners. We are proud to have taken this step, and to be the first entity in the state to have signed the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force pledge to stop the spread of invasive species.” For more than two years, Mizzou Botanic Garden has carried out other invasive plant projects, including the removal of five Callery pear trees at the Memorial Union, replacing them with non-invasive trees, and the organization of a mass bush honeysuckle/winter creeper removal along a portion of Flat Branch Creek.

“Mizzou Botanic Garden is to be commended for publicly demonstrating its dedicated effort to stopping the spread of invasive plants,” said Carol Davit, Executive Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the nonprofit conservation organization and land trust that operates the Grow Native! program, and serves as Chair of the program’s Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency group working as a united front to foster greater statewide early detection and control of invasive plants. “We invite other educational institutions, corporate campuses, municipalities, neighborhood associations, and other entities to take the pledge as well to signal their commitment to joining the fight to control invasive plants and mitigate the serious threats they pose.”

MoIP Task Force members developed the pledge with a number of benefits in mind. First, it lets the stakeholders of a campus, business, community, or other entity who may be concerned with invasive plants on that property know that the entity, by taking the pledge, has committed to developing a plan and dedicating resources to the control of invasive plant species. Second, it helps stakeholders understand that controlling invasive plants on that property will take time. Additionally, when a community or other entity lets its stakeholders know it has signed the pledge, it provides an opportunity for stakeholders to get involved in the effort.

“Invasive plants are serious threats to Missouri’s native ecosystems, as well as many native plants and animals, the built environment, and many facets of the state’s economy, including cattle production, the timber industry, and many aspects of outdoor recreation, including fishing and hunting industries,” said Davit. “Missouri will control invasive species only with the concerted efforts of many entities, including private citizens working together. Our state is a long-time, nationwide leader in natural resource conservation, and by leading in invasive plant control as well, we can further safeguard Missouri’s habitats, fish, wildlife, and other cherished aspects of our natural heritage.”

            Entities wishing to sign the pledge may do so via a Google form available at www.moinvasives.org. The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) can also provide a pledge document suitable for signing ceremonies and framing. Many resources on the identification and control of invasive plants, including native alternatives to invasive plants, are available from MoIP as well.

2nd Annual Invasive Species Day at Missouri State Fair 2018

by MoIP 0 Comments

The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) had a great time at the MO State Fair on Friday, August 10! We were thrilled to be among other important organizations participating in last week’s invasive species collaboration/education event. Thank you to the steady stream of people who came to learn about invasive species causing economic or environmental harm in Missouri.

This Facebook Live video by MDC is a tad choppy, but it captures the essence of the collaboration!

Photos by Nate Muenks and Tina Casagrand:

MDC, MoDOT, Missouri Prairie Foundation collaborate on Invasive Species Strike Team

by MoIP 0 Comments
Click here to listen to the KRCU interview with MoIP vice-chair Nate Muenks.

Invasive weeds will no longer have “the right of way” for over 700 miles of southeast Missouri roads.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) have partnered to work with contractors to eliminate invasive plants along roadways from the top of Ste. Genevieve County, all the way to the southern border of Missouri. According to Nate Muenks, MDC’s habitat management coordinator, 723 miles of roadways will be spot treated for invasive plants, in a phased approach.

“MDC is thrilled to partner with MoDOT, MPF and the contractors to take this proactive approach against the threat of invasive plants,” Muenks said. “When invasive plants are left to thrive, they choke out native plants. The reduction in native plants can destroy valuable habitat and is very hard on our wildlife populations.”

Of the 723 miles of highway that will be spot treated for invasive plants, 165 miles are along Interstate 55. The other 558 miles are along roadways connecting to the Interstate, all near or in Conservation Opportunity Areas (COA). COAs are geographical areas where broad conservation goals are best met. MDC, with the help of conservation partners, identifies COAs throughout the state where investments in the prioritized areas can increase the likelihood of long-term success, maximize effectiveness over large landscapes, improve funding efficiency and promote cooperative efforts with other agencies for benefits that cross property lines.

Muenks said MDC, MoDOT, MPF and the contractors all see the value in working together to combat the prolific spread of invasive plants.

“Our roadways are a major traveling corridor, for not only public transportation but also in the spread of invasive weeds,” said Mark Aufdenberg, a MoDOT roadside manager. “It’s surprising how invasive seeds are spread through vehicle movement, so if we can treat our roadways and stop them before they go onto other properties and conservation areas, that’s a good thing.”

Aufdenberg said the cooperative project supplements MoDOT roadside management and allows MoDOT employees to focus more time on maintaining roadway surfaces and safety.

“Having the help from contractors and other agencies is a big benefit to us,” Aufdenberg said. “We don’t want to give invasive weeds the right of way.”

Aufdenberg said the contractors will not broadcast spray herbicides across the entire roadsides, but will instead spot-spray, targeting only the invasive plants.

“This targeted, specific approach will protect the good plants, while targeting the bad,” he said.

MPF agrees that the state’s roadways provide connectivity across the state, and not just for people. The MPF is a private, nonprofit, conservation organization with a mission to protect and restore prairies and other native grasslands, some of the most biologically diverse habitats in the state.

“We’re very concerned with the control of invasive species on the property we own and we’re very pleased to work in partnership with MDC, MoDOT and the other entities involved in this project,” said Carol Davit, MPF’s executive director. “Invasive plants pose real environmental and economic threats to our state, and collaboration is key in this fight.”

Davit said the project is also important because the work is happening in highly trafficked areas.

“Because this work is very visible along the roadways, we hope to inspire Missourians, and travelers in general, to be vigilant and take action against invasive plants on their own property as well,” Davit said.

Aufdenberg asks drivers in southeast Missouri to watch out for the contractors as they work along the roadways. Drivers will see large, orange, diamond shaped signs that say, “Invasive Plant Strike Team” where workers are spraying.

“Please slow down and give them some room as they work,” Aufdenberg said. “Safety is most important in our roadside projects.”

Muenks said MDC can help private landowners who want to eliminate invasive plants and improve wildlife habitat on their land. More information for landowners is available atwww.mdc.mo.gov/property.

Drivers will see work along 723 miles of roadways as Missouri’s cooperative Invasive Species Strike Team works to spot treat invasive plants. This proactive approach will protect the good plants while targeting the ones that don’t belong in the region. (MDC photo)