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

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“Plant This, Not That!” Posters Now Available

“Plant This, Not That! Native Missouri Trees to Plant Instead of Invasive Callery/Bradford Pear” is an 11-poster set (title page + 10 species) inspired by the “Stop the Spread” campaign and designed by Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force. Now available in the following formats:

Why Not Callery Pear? Title Poster for “Plant This, Not That!” series

Awards given for fighting invasive plants, increasing native habitat

Awards given for fighting invasive plants, increasing native habitat
Left to right: Laura Hillman, Allison Vaughn, Bill Mees, and John Besser accepted the 2018 Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Award on behalf of Columbia Audubon Society at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 25. The awards were designed by Columbia glass artist Susan Taylor Glasgow. Photo by Nancy Bedan.

– by Nancy Bedan, on Columbia Audubon Society website

At a ceremony on April 25, the City of Columbia recognized the Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) for its work in habitat restoration at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) and for its community outreach and education programs. Eight organizations and businesses received the 2018 Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Award, an honor created in 2014 to recognize businesses and organizations that excel in sustainable practices and promote a culture of environmental responsibility. Both CAS and the Columbia Public Schools Science Department received awards in the Environmental Stewardship category. The CAS citation (view a short video here) read:

“For their countless efforts to restore and protect the environment through community outreach and educational opportunities, the Columbia Audubon Society has earned a 2018 Environmental Stewardship Award. By providing a beautiful landscape for visitors and increasing native habitat for a variety of pollinators, they have made a lasting impact on our community.”

The CPS Science Department, under the leadership of Mike Szydlowski, was honored for surpassing its goal of removing one million invasive bush honeysuckle plants and for collecting long-term plant diversity data…

Read the full story here.

Western Governors List 50 Worst Invasive Species

by Tina Casagrand 0 Comments
Invasive species pose an enormous environmental challenge to western states and
territories. Western Governors have experienced first-hand how these invaders
affect the region’s forests and rangelands, water, and agriculture. Left unchecked,
invasive species permanently alter ecosystems and negatively impact the native
species and local economies that depend upon them.

Read more and see the list from the Western Governor’s Association.

Requiem for a Bradford Pear

by Tina Casagrand 0 Comments

This shows where the Bradford pear limb broke off from the trunk and apparently other limbs broke from the same area previously. South St. Louis, 2017.

originally published in Outdoor Living, Summer 2014

by Margo Farnsworth

I had inherited my much longed for older sister’s bedroom.  It was a garret-like space that opened into our dusty, but neatly arranged attic with oversized attic fan serving as both focal point and cooling system in the early 1960’s. Here too, was the board where my chalk smudged seven-year-old fingers laid out my future farm.  Lots of horses with paddocks to the west of the house and long southern pastures in the fore were carefully drawn.  The front drive would, of course, be Bradford pears lined up two-by-two all the way to the street.

I was raised on a love of Bradford pears.  Originally sent from China to Europe, their snowy spring dresses came to adorn landscapes in all the most fashionable business parks beginning in the ‘50s.  As subdivisions became popular, so too were these orderly, oval-topped sentries planted throughout neighborhood entries and parks alike.  Their march toward omnipresence had begun.  

As time passed, years of dust settled on the chalkboard with the drawing of my farm.  Bradford pears advanced their hold on whole communities as I was building a career and raising a family.  No horticulturalist, I had not studied the darker side of the pernicious pear.  As I grew, those first pears started to disintegrate in storms.  “Break-away” pears we labeled them as we began to recognize they were neither strong nor long-lived, have lives of usually less than 25 years, with their demise commonly arriving after only 15 to 20 years.

Then, Douglas Tallamy added a tombstone for all of the cultivars of the Callery pear including the Bradford, Cleveland and handful of others.  His studies revealed how poor these trees are in hosting food sources for birds and other wildlife. In a talk for the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Tallamy discussed computations that a single family of chickadee babies will devour 9,000 caterpillars on their way to adulthood.  Those caterpillars like oak trees and other natives – Bradford pears, not so much.

As I wrote this article I contemplated the double row of Cleveland pears the former owners planted on my farm with a rueful smile.  They have fire blight and all must be removed.  I cannot blame myself or you for all the lacy ladies, those Bradford pears planted across our country.  We only went where we were led.  But I can pledge a new allegiance to serviceberry, redbuds and other native trees for beauty along my drive and food in the bellies of birds.  And when a grandchild uses my old chalkboard, I’ll teach them well about the shallow pleasures of a pretty face or flower alone.  Our landscape’s beauty is made of more substantial stuff.  

About the writer: Margo Farnsworth is a writer, biomimicry instructor and Fellow for the Biomimicry Institute. She invites readers into nature, offering strategic ways to live with wild neighbors through biomimicry and other practical methods.  Her work has appeared in the book Wildness: Relations of People & Place along with magazines such as The New Territory, EarthLines, TreeHugger and numerous blogs.

Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Honeysuckle Work Day

by Tina Casagrand 2 Comments

Green Belt Land Trust wants to let you know about an opportunity to do some good work and help out a conservation easement landowner by clearing invasive honeysuckle on Saturday, November 11th, from 10AM to noon.

They will be led by Fred Young, honeysuckle exterminator extraordinaire, and Greenbelt will provide the necessary equipment.  However, if you have your own loppers and work gloves, feel free to bring those, too!

Please RSVP by emailing mpowell[at]greenbeltmissouri.org, and he will send you information on where to meet.

Honeysuckle Hackathon 2017 and other St. Louis-Area invasive plant initiatives

by Tina Casagrand 0 Comments

“It’s a leaf-out freakout,” begins a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article posted March 13. As described in, “St. Louis residents beat back invasive honeysuckle as spring nears,” organizations across the city are engaged in removal of this prolific and highly invasive plant.

Kirkwood Honeysuckle Hackathon

Hack12

Photo by Robert Weaver, The Gateway Gardener

The Kirkwood Parks Assistance Corps’ Honeysuckle Hackathon met with great success. Over 100 volunteers showed up in the course of a week. Here are some documents they used that may prove helpful in other community invasive plant removal efforts:

See more photos, click here. Photos of Meramec students helping on Thursday are here. To download the whole gallery, click on the downward arrow next to the “Buy Photos” button. To download individual photos click on the photo then on the downward arrow at bottom right page.

What’s Next

There are still some work dates set for St. Louis Wild Ones Honeysuckle Sweep week.

And finally, check out this video by Great Rivers Greenway and share with your networks!

Learn more about exotic honeysuckles on MoIP’s species-specific information page.

Illinois Invasive Species Symposium Call for Abstracts, due April 3

by Tina Casagrand 0 Comments
 
The symposium will be held on May 31 in Champaign, IL.  
 
 
Call for Abstracts
 
We are now accepting abstract submissions for presentations at the 4th Annual Illinois Invasive Species Symposium. The Symposium is a joint effort between University of Illinois Extension, the Illinois Natural History Survey, and The Morton Arboretum. It provides an opportunity to learn about projects and programs underway to address invasive species that are impacting Illinois’ natural lands and native species.
 
Presentations should be on invasive species projects or programs in Illinois. We are accepting sub-missions of presentations on all taxa of invasive species. Presentations will be 20-30 minutes in length.
 
Please email abstract submissions to cwevans [at] illinois.edu by April 3, 2017. Authors will be notified by April 17.
 
Abstract Format
1. Title
2. Authors: Include author names and contact information. If there are multiple authors, please place an asterisk (*) after the name of the presenter(s)
3. Body of abstract: Body of abstract should be a single paragraph and provide a brief description of the presentation
 
Christopher Evans
Forestry Extension and Research Specialist
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
 
University of Illinois Extension Forestry
354 State Highway 145N
Simpson, IL 62985-9614