Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Turning the Tide on Invasive Species

If you take a walk through the woods or fields around your home you may encounter plants that don't belong.  In many of our local communities, these invasive species are quietly out-competing native species.  In the picture below, someone is using a weed wrench to remove some of these unwanted visitors.  






The diversity of natural and man-made wildlife corridors throughout the Ottauquechee River watershed has created a perfect environment for the proliferation of invasive plants in the watershed.  Invasive plants are introduced through human and animal movements to habitats outside their native range.  In the invaded habitats, free of natural competitors and predators, invasive plants can proliferate and persist to the detriment of the habitats’ native species.  Invasive plants can cause widespread harm by out-competing native plants, increasing erosion along stream banks and clogging waterways, providing less nutritious food and insufficient cover for wildlife, decreasing the economic and production value of pasturelands, and burdening municipal and state agencies with expensive removal and restoration projects.  The Ottauquechee River watershed has become home to more than 30 noxious, invasive plant species that have had a major negative impact on the watershed’s natural habitats and infrastructure.  


The constant spread of invasive species can seem overwhelming.  But there are things you can do to help turn the tide.  The OCISMA (Ottauquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area) is hosting an educational workday at VINS on Friday September 9th from 9-12pm.  Join us for a fun morning of learning about common invasive plants and effective control techniques.  We will focus on species found around the property including Japanese Barberry, Garlic Mustard, and Common Buckthorn.  Bring some work gloves, water bottle, and enthusiasm for the outdoors!  Learn what you can do to make a difference!


For more information, please contact Mandy, the OCISMA Coordinator at 802-359-5000 ext.240 or email ocisma@vinsweb.org.  Hope to see you there!

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