Local journalists join our volunteer teams
Maps and data forms are pouring in from more than 150 volunteers who participated in SEWISC’s second roadside survey. Citizen scientists collected location and population size data for wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and also fine-tuned the 2011 reports for common and cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris and D. laciniatus), common reed grass (Phragmites australis) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). The survey was among 18 projects selected for assistance through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2012-13 Citizen-based Monitoring Partnership Program. Additional funding for survey coordination was provided by the US Forest Service.
Two of our survey teams were joined by local journalists this year. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, Don Behm, rode along with a Walworth County survey team in July. Read about Don’s experience with SEWISC volunteers Barbara Holtz, Pamela Meyer and Jacki Lewis at: JSOnline. SEWISC’s 2011 Sweat Equity Awardee, Melissa Warner, along with her team member and husband, Jay Warner, hosted Wisconsin Public Radio reporter, Chuck Quirmbach. You can hear Chuck describe the Racine County survey efforts at: WPR News.
SEWISC meets with Ozaukee County officials to plan roadside management of invasive plants
The survey data is currently used to plan and implement control efforts. For example, five teasel populations were treated in August by volunteer surveyors Lee and Mary Krueger in Washington County. Milwaukee County Parks Department staff has controlled populations that were mapped by SEWISC volunteers in 2011 including 92.3 acres of teasel and 15 acres of Japanese knotweed. A treatment plan for common reed grass has been developed by Milwaukee County staff and will begin later this year. The Ozaukee County Land & Water Management and Highway Departments are working with SEWISC to continue controlling teasel and wild parsnip (initiated in 2011), as well as formulating plans to continue this work along all the roadways managed by the county. The City of Mequon Public Works Department is also working with SEWISC to develop a plan to control invasive plant population throughout southern Ozaukee County.
Management of common reed grass throughout southeastern Wisconsin will begin yet this year. Populations mapped by our survey volunteers will be selected and treated as part of our new STRIKE Team program.