Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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2021 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

Raise Funds for Your Local Group by Pulling Invasive Plants

It’s time to get outside to pull together and raise funds during our annual Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon. Now in its ninth year, the event encourages folks across southeastern Wisconsin to protect their local woodlands by pulling this invasive plant. As last year, team members can easily spread out and work in social bubbles to help stop the spread of garlic mustard! 

trophy day supportThis is a great opportunity to raise funds for your own organization as well as our regional efforts to fight invasive species. You can form a team, join a team and donate. Our 2021 goal is to collectively pull 20,000 lbs. (10 TONS!) and have a great time together while protecting natural areas from invasive plant damage. Securing pledges is easy; sponsors can donate directly through our website. Pullers are encouraged to ask friends, family and others to support their efforts in caring for the land.

The pull-a-thon is also a competition, so the team that rises to the top by June 30, 2021 will earn bragging rights and take home the legendary traveling trophy. Our natural areas will only avoid damage from invasives with long-term sustained commitment to control of invasives. Half of all proceeds go to participating organizations that raise funds, and half go to SEWISC. All funds will be used for invasive species education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Here are our Annual Pull-A-Thon objectives (yea, let’s DO THIS!):

  • 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.
  • Safely share control methods and best management practices with landowners and managers and strengthen local volunteer efforts.
  • Raise educational funds for SEWISC and our partner organizations.

Visit 2021 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon for more information. You can register a team, join a team and donate to a team.

Join Volunteer Opportunities in Your Neighborhood

Check out our web-based workday calendar!

Let’s safely get outside again this spring with friends, family and co-workers and help to improve our neighborhood natural areas!  You can find opportunities on our web-based Volunteer Workday 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 workday 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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SEWISC Sign Salutes Individual Efforts

2019SEWISCsign start colorqrEven 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.

Order now and post on your property to kick off your 2021 management season!

SEWISC Board of Directors

In January we expressed our gratitude to newly retired Board Members Meghan Wersel and Eric Hyde for their commitment to our mission. Meghan joined the Board in 2018, served as Secretary and was instrumental in executing many of our programs.  Her position with Waukesha Land Conservancy currently requires Meghan’s many talents and skills, so our loss is the Conservancy’s gain.  Eric served on the SEWISC Board for just one year before accepting an exciting new position in Door County. We wish both Meghan and Eric well as they continue their fantastic careers. Please join us in welcoming a new Director who joined the Board in January and will serve an initial three-year term:Photo CE1

Charles “Buddy” Ebert graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BS in Conservation and Environmental Science in 2010. He spent 2 years as a Natural Areas Intern with the Milwaukee County Parks and a Community Crew Leader with the Student Conservation Association, then took a position as a Field Technician with a landscape design and ecological restoration company in Milwaukee. In this role he worked on a wide variety of unique ecological restoration projects and after five years as technician and Restoration Foreman, he assumed the role of Restoration Ecologist, managing all operations for restoration and land stewardship at the company. In 2018, Buddy accepted a position with Cardno, where he currently works as Senior Ecologist and Field Operations Manager. He spends his days developing and directing land management plans geared toward restoring native plant communities, improving biological diversity and wildlife habitat, and controlling invasive species. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Hartland and enjoys spending his spare time hiking, woodworking, camping, watching/attending Brewers games, playing cornhole, and building forts with his girls.

Lesser Celandine

One of the spring season’s earliest threats

lesser celandine 2Along with garlic mustard and browsing herbivores, a tremendous threat to our native woodland flora is lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) which grows as an herbaceous groundcover with kidney to heart-shaped leaves and showy, daisy-like yellow flowers.  The species rapidly reproduces and spreads into new areas through bulbils, tubers and viable seed (up to 70 seeds per plant).

The plant begins growing soon after snowmelt.  After flowering in March and April, aerial vegetation dies back, and entire plants can be dead by June. This provides a very narrow window for which to search, identify and control this invader.

Lesser celandine thrives in partial sun and moist soils, but also tolerates drier, sunny sites.  Poisonous to livestock and humans, the plant invades forests, wetlands, river ways and uplands including pasturelands and residential lawns making it an enemy of farmers, homeowners and natural area managers alike. 

Infestations of lesser celandine threaten spring ephemeral communities in woodlands, eliminating our sensitive native plants.  Natural area managers in Ohio and other northeastern states have been struggling with managing this plant for many years.  In one Cleveland park, approximately 400 acres are dominated by lesser celandine.  Help us to keep this plant from spreading in Wisconsin!

lesser celandine 1There is a limited amount of time for effective annual control of this species. Mechanical control includes hand-digging individual plants, being careful to remove all bulblets and tubers.  Hand-digging is difficult in larger populations due to the high degree of soil disturbance and abundance of small tubers which are not removed when you just pull the plant.  It is important to monitor the site in subsequent years for residual plants.  Herbicide treatments must be carried out early in the spring, prior to the emergence of native spring ephemerals and amphibians.  Systemic herbicides such as glyphosate are effective. Apply a 1.5% rate of a 39%-41% glyphosate isopropylamine salt (e.g., Rodeo®) for wetland areas, mixed with water and a non-ionic surfactant to foliage.

SEWISC is currently partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and several property owners in our region to control populations of lesser celandine.  Help us identify any additional populations in southeastern Wisconsin to expedite early detection and rapid response efforts by reporting any populations of this invading plant immediately to the WDNR.

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: Native Niche, LLC and Geneva Lake Conservancy.

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

Join Native Niche, LLC and Geneva Lake Conservancy in their support of SEWISC, the only regional organization dedicated to invasive species prevention, education, management, and control in Southeastern Wisconsin.