The quarterly electronic newsletter of the
Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium
Last summer, citizen scientists traveled our region’s roadways collecting location and population size data for wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and also fine-tuning 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 and additional funding for survey coordination was provided by the US Forest Service.
Wild parsnip was reported in 2,027 locations, and more than a third of those populations were reported in Washington County. Thirty-four additional Japanese knotweed populations were spotted by the volunteers, while giant reed grass and teasel population sightings increased by 151 and 276 respectively. Surveyors also noted that many populations which were mapped in 2011 are now being managed by landowners and land managers.
Thanks to the 181 volunteers who have donated more than 2,500 hours and drove, hiked and biked nearly 26,000 miles through their neighborhoods over the past two years to identify and map these problematic species. We also want to thank our County GIS Departments and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission who eagerly supplied the volunteers with township maps.
We are currently recruiting teams to help collect some missing data in the Walworth County townships of: Sharon, Lafayette, East Troy, Richmond and Bloomfield; and in the Sheboygan County townships of: Russell, Greenbush, and Lyndon. If you would like to volunteer to help map the missing data this coming summer, please contact us at: .> You will also have opportunities to help control these populations so stay tuned!
In an effort to make it easy for you to get outside and have fun managing invasive species with friends, family and co-workers, we developed a web-based volunteer work-day calendar. You can view the calendar by clicking on the Volunteer tab on our website home page and selecting any of the eight counties located in our region. Click on a volunteer event to access additional workday details such as location, time and contact information. Visit the direct link at: http://sewisc.org/volunteer and browse for opportunities to help in your neighborhood.
We would like to thank our Early Detection sponsors who support the mission of SEWISC by providing generous financial assistance, as well as working to reduce the impact of invasive species through their services in southeastern Wisconsin.
If you want to become a 2013 SEWISC sponsor, click here to download a copy of our sponsorship levels and benefits: http://sewisc.org/support-us/sponsor
SEWISC has four new board members who greatly broaden the knowledge base and the geographic representation of the organization. The four new board members will serve three-year terms. They bring the current board size to 11 members. Please meet:
August Wagner-Richardson has been with the Student Conservation Association since 2009. As program manager, she oversees Milwaukee community programming. She has worked in the non-profit sector facilitating education programs, organizing special events, program reporting and managing multiple budgets. She previously served as Youth Team Leader for AmeriCorps. August joined the SEWISC Board of Directors in September, 2012.
Laura Giese is a visiting assistant professor for Virginia Tech, National Capitol Region. She also performs consulting work part-time as an environmental scientist for GRAEF, and is a cooperating forester with WDNR. Laura is passionate about educating the public and controlling invasive species, since she has seen the impact of invasive species travelling across the states. Laura joined the SEWISC Board in September, 2012.
Drew Ballantyne completed his B.A. at Carthage College majoring in Environmental Science and Geography, and M.S. in Forest Science at Michigan Technological University in 2010. He is currently working as a restoration technician with various land stewardship companies, including Quercus Land Stewardship Services, and as a program assistant with Root-Pike WIN. Drew’s interests include protecting wetlands and hardwood forests across the Great Lakes Region. Drew joined the SEWISC Board in January, 2013.
Cassandra (Cassie) Rincon is a student at Alverno College majoring in Environmental Science. She serves as the President of Alverno College Team Green as well as Alverno College Loves Animals, two student groups that address issues about the environment and animals. Cassie also works as an Academic Assistant in the Science Resource Center and as an intern at the Milwaukee County Parks System in the Natural Areas Program. Cassie joined the SEWISC Board in January, 2013.