Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


Shop Local

Where Ecology Meets Economy: Season 5

A forum for green industry & land management professionals

Registration closes soon and seats are limited so act now!

Don’t miss the opportunity to network with land managers, growers, arborists, landscape architects and many other professionals. This innovative event will feature presentations, panel discussions, plus guided tours discussing ways the green industry and land managers can help each other to restore plant communities using sound ecology and economics. Speakers for this year’s event include: Steven Apfelbaum, Dr. Timothy Ehlinger, and Aaron Feggestad. 

Topic: Realistic Restoration

When: September 20, 2017; 8:00am - 3:30pm

Where: Johnson’s Nursery, Inc.; W180 N6275 Marcy Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Register online NOW: WEME 2017 Registration

Program details:  Where Ecology Meets Economy: Season 5

WEME Brand photo s5The purpose of this forum is to advance personal dialog between green industry and land management professionals. This fifth annual meeting will continue to develop working relationships to create business opportunities and help improve the state of our ecological communities.  The full-day event is offered for CEUs and will feature presentations about ways the Green Industry and Land Managers can work together to restore plant communities using sound ecology and economics.  A topical panel discussion and five unique tours and demonstrations by SEWISC and Johnson’s Nursery staff will occur from 2:10 - 3:30pm. Attendees may sign up for one tour on a first-come, first- served basis.  We will see you there!

Glyceria maxima

2017 identification and mapping project

Glyceria maxima (reed manna grass) is a perennial rhizomatous grass.  It is known to invade wetlands, including swamps, ditches, wet pastures, and lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers and creeks where it forms low diversity stands that are capable of crowding out native vegetation and animals.

mana wi mapThe species is currently split-classified under NR40, Wisconsin’s invasive species law. Glyceria maxima recordsIt is restricted (orange) in southeastern Wisconsin, and prohibited elsewhere (red). In the Midwest, the plant’s distribution is confined to Wisconsin, Illinois and perhaps Minnesota. Since it has limited distribution in Wisconsin, we hope to both reduce its spread to the western part of the state and eliminate stands where possible. Most populations are located in southeastern Wisconsin, between Milwaukee and Madison, with others in Calumet, Outagamie and Oneida Counties.

During the 2017 field season, SEWISC is working to identify, map and record over 200 reported G. maxima populations on public and private lands in our region. This survey information is shared with our project partner, the Wisconsin DNR, who will work with landowners to manage the populations. An experiment to control this species is currently underway in Dane county and initial observations look promising for complete control.

The Glyceria genus is typically distinguished by having closed leaf sheaths, angular shiny blades, and broad, stiff branched seed head (panicle). Click HERE to learn more about reed mana grass ecology and identification.

If you suspect this species to be on your property or if you see it elsewhere, please contact:

Jason Granberg


mana grass mana grass stream

Annual Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

Our roving trophy finds another new home

garlic mustard pull 2017Our Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon is an annual event, when we encourage people throughout southeastern Wisconsin to protect the woodlands of their neighborhoods by pulling this invasive plant. The pull-a-thon is a competition, a fundraiser, and a way for people to join together and have a positive impact on their environment. 

This spring, 12 teams formed by 842 volunteers helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 36,585 pounds (over 18 tons!) of garlic mustard and dame's rocket in our natural areas. Volunteers recruited friends, family and colleagues to sponsor their pulling efforts. What a fun way to make a real difference in the protection of the wild areas that we love!

The tax-deductable Pull-A-Thon pledge contributions were shared between SEWISC and event partners and the funds will be used for youth and adult invasive species education and prevention in southeastern Wisconsin.  Thank you to all the 2017 teams and their generous sponsors.

garlic mustard pull 2017 trophy

The prestigous traveling trophy was recently passed from last year's winners, the Riveredge Nature Center Team to the River Revitalization Foundation Team (RRF) during a ceremony in  August. The industrious winning team pulled 11,040 pounds of invasive plant material with the help of 87 volunteers from numerous sources including FedEx, MMSD, Operation Dream, Lakefront Brewery, Cream City Conservation, Colectivo Coffee, RRF's Earn and Learn, FORB volunteers, Riverview Dorms, Cambridge Commons, Gordon Brothers Accuval, Johnson Control and City Year.

The Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Trophy is a team-to-team award for outstanding dedicated efforts to control invasive species in southeastern Wisconsin. Each year, the team who pulls the largest amount of garlic mustard and/or dame’s rocket and raises the most donations wins the trophy which travels throughout our eight-county region.

Join the fun!  It’s never too soon to begin recruiting 2018 Pull-A-Thon Teams. Will the impressive trophy be passed to YOUR team in 2018, or will the River Revitalization Foundation team win the competition and keep the trophy for another year?

Got garlic mustard? If you would like to form a Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Team in 2018 and add your worksite location to our event, please email us at: .

2017 Wisconsin Invader Crusader Awards

Congratulations to our southeast Wisconsin recipient

crusaderrCover2017In 2005 Governor James Doyle demonstrated a firm commitment to address the issue of invasive species in Wisconsin by creating the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species and by declaring June of that year the first annual Invasive Species Awareness Month.  That tradition has continued in an effort to raise awareness about non-native invasive plants and animals.  This annual event is a great opportunity for the Council to recognize the efforts of outstanding individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary work in combating the spread of invasive species. 

We are proud to report that Daniel Pawlak was chosen to receive a 2017 award for his dedicated work in southeastern Wisconsin!  The Invader Crusader Awards Ceremony was held on June 8th at MacKenzie Environmental Center in Poynette, WI. 

Mr.Pawlak has served as a parent volunteer at Eagleville Elementary Charter School for the past four years. When he began volunteering, Dan started an afterschool science club which engages about 30-40 students each year. From 2014-2015, he focused on invasive species, educating students in grades 1-6 about the impacts of invasives on the local ecosystem, focusing on Jericho Creek, a nearby tributary of the Mukwonago River.

With Dan’s mentorship, students have learned to identify, monitor, and prevent the spread of invasive species. One of his projects involved the invasive Asiatic clam; with his help, students searched the creek for native and invasive clams. No Asiatic clams have yet been found, but Dan plans to continue this in the future to monitor the area. Through Dan’s mentorship, countless students have become more aware of invasive species in their area and have gained a greater appreciation for the natural world around them. Dan’s hard work has paved the way for the next generation of environmental stewards.

It’s Our 10th Birthday

10 yearsAnd yes, we ARE accepting gifts!

In 2007, The Milwaukee Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management partnered with the US Forest Service to hold a stakeholders meeting which was hosted by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District. Representatives from eight counties including Federal, State and local governments, nonprofit organizations and residents joined together to unanimously support the establishment of the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC).

Over the past decade, SEWISC staff and volunteers have worked diligently to reduce the impact of invasive species in southeastern Wisconsin.  Although we do like cake, please support our continued efforts by sending a small gift: Happy Birthday SEWISC!

SEWISC Internship Program

2017 field experiences

This summer, SEWISC helped to place nine University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Geography students into fieldwork internships with six mentors throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

intership program 1aLaura Sufferling and Marc Morgan worked with Jerry Ziegler, who manages six nature preserves for The Nature Conservancy in Waukesha and Walworth counties. Laura and Marc completed high priority tasks including inventory and mapping of invasive plant populations, planting various native species, mapping restoration efforts for long term monitoring and mapping hiking trail routes.

Schlitz Audubon Land Manager, Marc White mentored interns Michael DuBois and Jacob Holter who used GPS to record the location and size of invasive species populations and worked as a team to hand-pull, bag and remove the invasive plants. The students produced a map by entering their data into a GIS database which was used to assist volunteer groups in relocating and controlling larger clusters.

Tom Kroeger and Melissa Cook of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources received the help of Danielle Krou, Stephen Burany at Lakeshore State Park and Dave Adams at Hank Aaron State Trail. Intern tasks were numerous and included counting visitors entering entrances over a two week period and interpolating visitor estimates for time periods not covered to estimate daily visitor counts. The students prepared pie charts to show gender and activities of visitors to continue long-term analysis of visitor use of the park.intership program 2b

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Stewardship Director, Ryan Wallin, mentored Matt Slawson who conducted coarse invasive species inventories on many OWLT preserves using Trimble and Arc Collector technology. Matt also collected and distributed Cella beetles onto purple loosestrife plants to grow populations for dispersal into the wild. The fun really started for Matt when he helped to develop a research plot using backpack torches to kill garlic mustard.

Matt Smith, Land Manager at Riveredge Nature Center, received the assistance of Jennifer Howski who worked with Center staff mapping and removing all garlic mustard and dame's rocket populations across 177 acres of mesic forest.  Because of Jennifer’s additional help, Center staff was also able to survey 3 miles of Milwaukee River shoreline for yellow flag iris.  Eight new populations were map and removed. For all invasive species being managed, data was captured to better understand the effectiveness of control tactics and invasive species population response over time.

We would like to thank Jerry, Marc, Tom, Melissa, Ryan and Matt for volunteering to mentor these students and for offering educational opportunities during the summer through which the interns mastered new skills while honing talents gained through their University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coursework.

New SEWISC Sign Salutes Individual Efforts

SEWISCsignEven the smallest of efforts can make a big difference toward reducing the impact of invasive species.  Urban landowners as well as those who own and manage larger acreages can now encourage good stewardship and backyard conservation practices by posting these signs. Whether you have rural acreage, a suburban yard, or a city lot, you can help protect the environment by controlling invasive species and promoting that stewardship practice to others.

The high-quality 9x12 inch aluminum signs are available for only $16.99 each or two for $29.99 (price includes shipping and handling).

To order just download, complete and send a SEWISC Sign Order Form with your payment. 

***Supplies are limited!***

Don’t Miss This Hand’s On Class

people standing in fieldMany of us work to control invasive plants in the areas we care about.  Take this class to ensure that you are using the most appropriate, efficient, up-to-date, and least environmentally damaging methods in those efforts.

September 30, 2017 (Saturday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Workshop fee: $60.00

Discounted fee of $45 offered to SEWISC members

Contact us for details: (262) 675-6844

Available for 0.8 CEU

This is a hands-on class. After an introduction to the general ecology of the five functional groups of invasive plants (shrubs, perennial forbs, clonal perennials, grasses, and annuals/biennials), we will discuss, demonstrate and practice all applicable control methods (chemical and non-chemical) for these five plant types.

Topics will also include:

1) Identification of our common and relatively new invaders, 2) Planning and strategy for an effective control program, 3) Use of hand tools and herbicide application methods, 4) Herbicide concentrations, mixing, and safety, 5) Restoration strategies for badly infested sites, and 6) Record keeping. 

Safe chainsaw use for woody species will be demonstrated only.
Several take-home handouts and reference materials will be provided.
Register today!

Thank You to Our New Generous Sponsor!

ha logo title sm

We would like to thank our new Rapid Response Sponsor, HomeAdvisor, who supports the mission of SEWISC by providing generous financial assistance. Click HERE to learn more about HomeAdvisor services and how they can help you find trusted home improvement professionals.

SEWISC offers several SPONSORSHIP levels and benefits. Join HomeAdvisor in their support of SEWISC, the only regional organization dedicated to invasive species prevention, education, management, and control in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Great Apple Urban Barn Dance Fundraiser

Fall Fundraiser Poster apple barn danceGrab your partner and join us!

Outpost Natural Foods Coop is gearing up for a night of great music, dancing, food, drink and all things APPLE.

This event benefits Outpost’s 2017 Community Partners, including SEWISC who was featured as a Community Partner during the months of April, May and June this year.

Date: September 21, 2017

Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Place: The Great Hall at Best Place

Address: 901 W. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee

Tickets: Advanced: $27.37 / At the door: $35.00

Help Outpost bring a little bit of country to the big city!  100% of all proceeds raised (after fees and taxes) will be donated to Outpost’s four 2017 Community Partner Organizations:

Northwest Side Community Development Corp.
Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium
Teens Grow Greens
Benedict Center

Click here for the lowdown on the hoedown!

Purchase advance tickets NOW!

Save the date: SEWISC 2017 Annual Symposium

Nasty Aquatic Plant & Animals: Got ‘em? Get ‘em!

1:00 pm Wednesday, November 15th

Havenwoods Environmental Awareness Center
6141 N. Hopkins Street, Milwaukee WI 53209

3 men people in auditorium

Celebrate our recent accomplishments and learn about our plans for 2018 and beyond. This year’s guest speakers will share information regarding exotic aquatic plant & animal species which are invading our region. Early detection, identification and prompt best management techniques will keep them controlled in Wisconsin.

We will also present our 9th Annual Sweat Equity Award during the Symposium, which honors outstanding Southeastern Wisconsin citizens and organizations for their significant contributions to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species that harm our region’s lands, waters, and wetlands. Please consider nominating adults and/or youth with whom you work or those from your community.  

Sweat Equity Award nomination forms are accepted through October 18th.

The symposium is free and open to the public. You’ll enjoy a terrific raffle and delicious local refreshments.

Contact: to become a 2017 Symposium sponsor and/or to exhibit at this event!