Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Roadside Invasive Plant Survey

Data delivery to our local governments

You collected the data and on your behalf, we will soon deliver it to your local roadside maintenance crews. With Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding through the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) has partnered with SEWISC to schedule meetings with key representatives in more than 100 cities, towns and villages in Washington, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha Counties.

riding in car wbdOver the next year, SEWISC representatives will meet with staff of each local government and deliver location and population size data for five invasive species which were recently mapped along roadsides through the efforts of more than 150 volunteers. Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) was mapped by citizen scientists in 2012 while common and cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris and D. laciniatus), common reed grass (Phragmites australis) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) populations were the target of 2011 efforts. These surveys were funded through the US Forest Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Sheboygan, Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha Counties donated township maps for our surveyors.

Imeeting room wbdn addition to the mapped data, SEWISC will deliver basic invasive species educational presentations along with draft long-term management plans. Each local government will be asked to adopt a final version of the plan and develop an annual budget for managing roadside invasive plants. The budgets will be used to help secure funding assistance if needed.

Volunteer surveyors will be notified of the meetings scheduled in their mapping areas and we hope that many will attend to support our efforts and encourage the control of these problematic species by their local roadway managers.

As part of this project, OWLT will prioritize and begin managing populations of Japanese knotweed and common reed grass. OWLT funding is also available for controlling populations of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and lyme grass (Leymus arenarius). Please report locations of lyme grass and purple loosestrife to: Daniel Rieland at: . SEWISC will prioritize and control the mapped common and cut-leaved teasel populations in 2013.

roadside survey map wbd

Resident volunteers have mapped more than 4,500 populations of 5 invasive plant species which are rapidly spreading along southeastern Wisconsin roadways. This information will now be delivered to roadway managers along with management plans and funding options.

June is Invasive Species Awareness Month

Protect the Places Where You Play:
Keep Invasives Out!

In 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. For each of the past 8 years, that tradition has continued in an effort to raise awareness about non-native invasive plants and animals.

spotted knapweed poster wbd

Poster by Kaleigh Fitzgerald, Waukesha

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 SEWISC volunteers Melissa Warner (Weed Out! Racine) and The Habitat Healers (Riveredge Nature Center) have been chosen to receive 2013 awards for their dedicated work in southeastern Wisconsin! The Invader Crusader Awards Ceremony was held on June 11th at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. View more information at: 2013 ISAM

As part of the celebration, 4th and 5th grade students were once again invited to participate in the Invasive Species Awareness Month poster contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, Department of Natural Resources and Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. The goal of the poster contest is to increase awareness of invasive species and teach people how to prevent the spread of invasives. Southeastern Wisconsin resident Kaleigh Fitzgerald (Magee Elementary School in Waukesha) received Honorable Mention in the 2013 competition. Take a look at the artwork submitted this spring by our creative Wisconsin youth: ISAMPosters

Education and outreach professionals from across Wisconsin will gather for the 2nd Annual Invasive Species Education Summit hosted by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council on Wednesday, June 19th, in Eagle River, WI. Distance participation will be available via webinar. View the full invitation

GET INVOLVED by scheduling an event and/or participating in an event during Invasive Species Awareness Month. For more information visit the SEWISC 2013 volunteer work day calendar at: SEWISCWorkdays


Annual Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon:

2013 results

Our Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon is an annual event, where we encourage folks 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. Our natural areas will only avoid damage from invasives with a long-term sustained commitment to invasives control.

Sauk Creek Nature Preserve wbd
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
Sauk Creek Nature Preserve2013 Pull-a-Thon
This spring, eight volunteer teams helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 2,453 pounds 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.

The tax-deductable pledged contributions were shared between SEWISC and event partners and the funds will be used for invasive species education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin.

A trophy and bragging rights will soon be awarded to the team with the most bags of pulled garlic mustard, and this year the winner is the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Sauk Creek Nature PreserveTeam which pulled 900 pounds! Thank you to all the 2013 teams (listed below) and to their generous sponsors:

  • Mequon Nature Preserve: 50 lbs.; 200 volunteers
  • Kinnickinnic River Parkway (Alverno College Team Green): 52 lbs.; 5 volunteers
  • Riveredge Nature Center Habitat Healers: 165 lbs.; 10 volunteers
  • Long Lake, (Friends of Kettle Moraine - Northern Unit): 148 lbs.; 9 volunteers
  • The South Holy Hill Segment -Ice Age Trail: 343 lbs.; 19 volunteers
  • Sauk Creek Nature Preserve (Ozaukee Washington Land Trust): 900 lbs.; 38 volunteers
  • Donges Bay Gorge State Natural Area (Ozaukee Washington Land Trust): 570 lbs.; 19 volunteers
  • Ulao Creek (Ulao Creek Partnership): 225 lbs.; 6 volunteers
Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest Pull-a-Thon Team wbd
Members of the Northern Kettle Moraine
State Forest Pull-a-Thon Team



Got garlic mustard? If you would like to volunteer as a Team Leader in 2014 and add your worksite location to our event, please email us at: .


Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasive Species Management

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Council recently completed the statewide strategic plan for invasive species management, and it is now available on the web: Wisconsin’s Strategic Plan

Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasive Species Management wbdMany stakeholders and partners were involved with writing this plan and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and develop an implementation plan to identify tasks and timelines so that we can measure our progress. To kick this effort off, the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council held a plan implementation work day on May 23, 2013 at the Pyle Center in Madison. This workday brought agency, industry, academic, nonprofit leaders, legislators, and other partners contributing to invasive species efforts in Wisconsin together to:

  • Share case studies used to build the statewide strategic plan;
  • Create a dialogue across agencies on providing leadership to resolve invasive species policy and management needs;
  • Develop a shared vision of how we can contribute to the implementation of the recommendations from the statewide strategic plan;
  • Identify next steps

Stay tuned as implementation efforts proceed!




Creating a Beetle Nursery:

Purple loosestrife biocontrol efforts continue

beetle nursery wbdLast summer we partnered with Anna Moyer, WDNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist, to select locations for biocontrol beetle release. Unfortunately, the beetle supply was not large enough to treat every purple loosestrife population in the SEWISC region, and Anna returned this spring to help create a beetle nursery at the University of Wisconsin-Field Station in Saukville. The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) graciously donated 20 purple loosestrife plants, potting soil and netting. SEWISC members and volunteers Jim Reinartz, Melissa Warner, Jim Hooten and Ryan Fenley ( pictured right) joined Anna to pot the plants needed to raise beetles that will be released later this year in Cedarburg Bog, Little Cedar Lake, Ackerman’s Grove, Caledonia, Long Lake and select OWLT properties.