Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Save the Date

Don’t miss this biennial conference

save the date umisc

The Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC) addresses all taxa of invasive species. Next year, UMISC will celebrate 14 years of connecting the invasive species management, research, and policy community. UMISC 2022 will be a multi-track conference focused on sharing information and networking on issues related to all taxa of invasive species.

The goal of UMISC is to strengthen management of invasive species, especially prevention, control, and containment. There have been great strides in invasive species research, prevention, and management, but much work still must be done. UMISC also represents a strong partnership between its three hosts: Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin, Midwest Invasive Plant Network, and Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council.


Annual Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

Congratulations to the 2021 trophy-winners!

Our Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon is an annual fundraiser event, where we encourage folks throughout southeastern Wisconsin to protect the woodlands of their neighborhoods by pulling this invasive plant.  Our 2021 goal was to collectively pull 20,000 pounds and raise essential funds for the fight against invasive species.  We fell a little short of our goal, but we hope that is due to a reduction of garlic mustard populations in our region as a result of Pull-A-Thon efforts over the past 9 years!

PXL 20210729 215631125Eagle Nature Trail Pull-A-Thon Team members proudly displaying their 2021 trophy..

 This year, 485 dedicated residents formed 13 volunteer teams which helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 17,010 pounds (over 8 tons) of garlic mustard and dame's rocket in our natural areas! Volunteers recruited friends, family and colleagues to sponsor their pulling efforts.  This is a fun way to make a real difference in the protection of the wild areas that we love.

$3,965 in pledged contributions was also collectively raised by team members and shared between SEWISC and the event partners.  These funds will be used for adult and youth invasive species education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin.

This year, the Eagle Nature Trail Team pulled themselves to the top of the 2021 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon competition. Led by Jean Weedman, the team recorded the highest number of volunteers (181!) and recruited a whopping $3,250 in donations while pulling the target plants in their 8 acre management area. Eagle Nature Trail has also surpassed all teams in donations for the past 8 competitions; while pulling 12,277 pounds they have raised a total of $13,432.00, or an average of $1,679 annually.

Peter Dargatz, Team Leader of our 2020 Champion Mr. Dargatz's Nature Kindergarten Team, graciously passed the traveling trophy to Eagle Nature Trail Team Leader Jean Weedman during a ceremony officiated by SEWISC Board President, John Lunz. The Pull-A-Thon trophy will be proudly displayed by Eagle Nature Trail throughout the year.

Many thanks to all of you who got outdoors, pulled garlic mustard, told your neighbors about this invasive plant, and reported your progress as part of the 2021 event. And thank you to all you donated to your favorite 2021 Teams! Remember, it's never to early to start planning for next year's Pull-A-Thon competition - Plan to JOIN US!

2021 trophy passingJean Weedman proudly accepts the traveling Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon trophy from Peter Dargatz on July 29, 2021.

The Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative

Learn to manage invasive woody plants

Wigl Website LogoThe Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes (WIGL) Collaborative brings interested partners together to consolidate information on woody invasive plant species. Their goal is to provide residents from all walks of life with the information they need to manage invasive woody plants and restore habitat for native plants and wildlife around the Great Lakes.

2021 website updates include a Landscape Alternatives App & Brochure highlighting alternatives to woody invasive plants common in gardens and yards in the Great Lakes Basin. Landscape alternative galleries have also been added to the website. Check out these links for a virtual tour of beautiful and non-invasive trees, shrubs, and woody vines & groundcovers. If you’re looking to replace a specific invasive plant, they have provided mini-galleries to the invasive species profiles as well.

Please share this fantastic resource with your neighbors, friends, clients and colleagues!

Invasive Plant Management Resources

Courtesy of the Renz Lab


The Renz Weed Science Lab has created a series of factsheets discussing the identification and control of many common invasive plant species problematic to natural areas. Mechanical, cultural, and chemical control methods are discussed in detail, including effectiveness of the control method and appropriate rates and timings of chemical control applications. 

Website visitors can also access invasive plant management trial reports and summaries along with plant identification video resources. The Renz Lab has helped produce a brochure describing the identification of Wisconsin plants that are hazardous to human health, whether through contact or consumption. These plants are often found in natural areas and roadsides, although they may also be found in agricultural settings.

Many of the materials are intended for land managers to improve weed management outcomes. Please take a look at what the Renz Lab has to offer, and don’t hesitate to contact their staff if you have any questions!

SEWISC Student Program

2021 fieldwork research experience

This summer, SEWISC helped to place eight University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Geography students into fieldwork research experiences with four mentors throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Schlitz Audubon Land Manager, Drew Shuster mentored two students: Benjamin Catura and Nate Wojcicki  who recorded the location and size of invasive species clusters within the Audubon’s reptile and amphibian conservation area. They worked as a team to hand-pull, bag and remove invasive plants and produced a map by entering the data into an ArcGIS database. The students used their geodatabase to guide volunteer groups to larger invasive populations and document control efforts.

MNP student 02 croppedjpgNick Gall of the Mequon Nature Preserve had the pleasure of hosting two students, Dagmar Boll (pictured left) and Adam Krainik. During their three-week session, the students used Arc Field Maps to document over fifteen invasive species such as teasel and wild parsnip, and record tree location and species on the new 66-acre, Preserve parcel. The students also helped measure stream bank depth, top width and bottom width of the Trinity Creek channel which will be used to measure stream bank erosion within the channelized stream. These data and maps will help guide future restoration projects on the stream and surrounding upland and forest communities

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Stewardship Director, Ryan Wallin, mentored Chad Christiansen who helped fill gaps in the Land Trust’s photo points inventory across twenty-five preserves in Ozaukee and Washington Counties. Chad used a high accuracy GPS receiver connected to his cell phone and ESRI Field Maps Application to document the conditions on the ground in all four directions.RNC student 200Nathan Freeman, Juan Olmos-Garcia, Alex Thiel collecting geobotanical data at Riveredge Nature Center Chad took as many as eighty photos at each site! He also walked and used the tracking feature to delineate more than ten sections of trail that were also missing in the system.

Matt Smith, Land Manager at Riveredge Nature Center, is grateful to students Nathan Freeman, Juan Olmos-Garcia, and Alex Thiel  for their tireless work inventorying and removing outlier populations of invasive mustard species (such as garlic mustard and dame's rocket) across 137 acres of the Center’s property. This year's student team was able to finish surveying the project area in record time due to the annual student field effort and dedicated work ethic. In fact, they finished this project and still had time to walk each shoreline of the Center’s stretch of the Milwaukee River and its islands to inventory another invasive species, yellow iris.

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

Thank You to Another 2021 Generous Sponsor!

PPWebLogoWe would like to thank our newest Early Detection Sponsor, The Park People of Milwaukee County, Inc. who supports the mission of SEWISC by providing generous financial assistance.

SEWISC offers several Annual SPONSORSHIP levels and benefits. Select one that is right for you!

Please join The Park People in their support of SEWISC, the only regional organization dedicated to invasive species prevention, education, management, and control in Southeastern Wisconsin

Stewardship Sign

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Salutes your individual efforts

We are all spending a lot more time at home these days and even 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 $20.00 each, or two for $35.00 (price includes shipping and handling).

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