Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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2017 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

PULLING TOGETHER through some friendly competition

Our Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon is an annual fundraising event, where we encourage folks throughout southeastern Wisconsin to protect the woodlands of their neighborhoods by pulling this invasive plant.  Our 2017 goal is to collectively pull 10,000 pounds and raise essential funds for the fight against invasive species – so come on and join us!pullathon trophy 250

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.  Our natural areas will only avoid damage from invasives with a long-term sustained commitment to invasives control.  Help raise funds for a sustainable invasives program at the same time that you help to reduce garlic mustard seed production in 2017.

All proceeds will be used for invasive species education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin and contributions are tax-deductible.  The Pull-A-Thon Traveling Trophy and bragging rights will be awarded to the Team that collects the most pledges and pulls the most garlic mustard by June 30, 2017.

Pull-A-Thon Objectives:

  • Promote repeated control and proper disposal of garlic mustard and dame’s rocket in our parks and natural areas.
  • Promote public awareness of invasive species issues.
  • Share control methods and best management practices with land owners and managers and strengthen local volunteer efforts.
  • Raise operational funds for SEWISC and our partner organizations.

Please visit: 2017 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon for more information on this exciting annual event.  Register a team, join a team and/or donate to a team!

Join Volunteer Opportunities In Your Neighborhood

Web-based work day calendar

Get outside this spring with friends, family and co-workers and help to improve your neighborhood natural areas!  You can find opportunities on our web-based Volunteer Work Day calendar. Easily view the calendar by choosing Volunteer Calendar under the Volunteer tab on our website home page and selecting any of the eight counties located in our region. Click on a posted event to access additional work day details such as location, time and contact information. Join the opportunities in your neighborhood!

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If your organization would like to advertise an event on the calendar, simply click Work Days Event Submission Form under the Volunteer tab on our website home page.  Make sure you include: 1) the name of your event, 2) date and time, 3) location with address, and 4) contact information.  SEWISC Staff and volunteers will receive your event submission and post the information to our calendar as soon as possible.

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Partnering to Restore Habitat

Two project woodlands in Milwaukee County

With financial assistance from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the US Forest Service, SEWISC is partnering to control invasive species and restore the native plant communities of two important urban woodlands in southeastern Wisconsin: Milwaukee County Zoological Society and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Downer Woods. Through this funding, invasive species populations in the project sites are detected and controlled using best management practices. Re-establishment by the invading plant species will be prevented by restoring native species and through long-term monitoring by committed staff and volunteers in both locations.

people working in woods 300The Milwaukee County Zoological Society is removing common and glossy buckthorn and garlic mustard from a 2-acre area adjacent to Lake Evinrude at the Zoo.  After removal, the cleared areas are treated with herbicide to help prevent regrowth of the invasive shrubs.  To augment this restoration effort, the cleared area will soon be replanted with a diverse selection of more than 150 native trees and shrubs following guidance provided by the US Forest Service. This project provided the Student Conservation Association and the Milwaukee County House of Corrections the opportunity to assist with the removal of invasive species and restoration of native species.  These and other habitat preservation efforts will continue to take place at the Zoo, and simultaneously raise awareness of this critical issue to the 1.3 million annual Zoo visitors.

Prior to 1999, Downer Woods (located on the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Campus) received no management and contained an herbaceous layer heavily dominated by garlic mustard where sufficient light reached the forest floor through a dense common buckthorn shrub canopy.  woman in buckthorn forest 300This condition was typical of many ignored urban woodlots at that time but in 1999, University staff removed all fruiting-sized buckthorn, and began to prevent garlic mustard seed set.  This invasive control work has continued over the past 17 years and has been augmented by planting native tree saplings.  The response of the native plant community has been tremendous.  The woodland is becoming a well-known and well-studied example of recovery from invasive species.  To complete the restoration University staff and volunteers will remove the last cohort of buckthorn and honeysuckle individuals that were seedlings in 1999 and continue to plant native tree and shrub species following guidance provided by the US Forest Service.

SEWISC Partners With Outpost in 2017

outpost logo 125Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative is committed to supporting and building strong partnerships with local like-minded organizations. This has been accomplished through its Community Partners give-back program for more than 20 years.

We are proud to announce that SEWISC has been chosen as one of Outpost's 2017 partners!  Every year four locally-based non-profit organizations partner with Outpost to build greater community awareness of each organization’s mission as well as to raise funds to support their work.  Building strong community partnerships is a key part of what Outpost does as an organization.

jeff2In an ideal world, public investment in control and management of invasive species would be proportional to the economic and environmental cost of invasive species.  However in the real world, much of the work of minimizing the impact of invasive species is accomplished by non-profit volunteer-based groups like SEWISC.  Outpost applauds this effort and recognizes that SEWISC’s mission and vision coincides with Outpost’s mission of creating a healthy, diverse, and sustainable community.  

Special events to highlight SEWISC's partnership with Outpost during the months of April, May and June include SEWISC educational visits to Outpost locations in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and Bay View. Two presentations on invasive species in our region and ways to manage them are scheduled in Mequon and Milwaukee.  Stop in to your favorite location and pick up our brochure.

New SEWISC Board of Directors

In January we extended tremendous gratitude to newly retired Board Member Steve Klock for his commitment to our mission and for the enthusiasm he shared throughout his 6-year term of service. New 2017 Board additions include one Director and one Student Director who will each serve initial three-year terms:

fie thao 125Fie Thao was born in Waterloo, Ontario. He moved to Milwaukee in 1999 and attended Hawley Environmental School which sparked his interest in nature. Fie graduated from Milwaukee School of Languages in 2014 and is currently enrolled in MATC’s Arbory and Horticulture program. His experience inludes trail building and maintenance along with invasive species control through his involvement with the  Student Conservation Association and Cream City Conservation and Consulting. Fie enjoys camping, fishing, music and walking the trails of the Milwaukee County Parks.


jeff veglahn 125Jeff Veglahn was born and raised in La Crosse where he enjoyed the equisite ecology of the Mississippi River and area wetlands. He received a B.S. in Ecology from Winona State University and after graduating in 2009, Jeff and his wife moved to Milwaukee. He currently works for the Urban Ecology Center as Land Steward for the Menomonee Valley branch. Jeff’s favorite activities include cooking (eating), fishing, and exploring personal faith based disciplines.

Thank You to Our New Generous Sponsors!

We would like to thank our new Early Detection Sponsors who support the mission of SEWISC by providing generous financial assistance: Crop Production Services and Stantec.

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

Join Crop Production Services and Stantec in their support of SEWISC, the only regional organization dedicated to invasive species prevention, education, management, and control in Southeastern Wisconsin.

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