Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Early Detection and Rapid Response

Battling invasion by five prohibited plant species

wild chervilNot a moment’s rest for SEWISC. This season we are actively mapping and managing populations of five NR-40 listed plant species that have crept into our 8-county region:

Wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) (left) is an herbaceous biennial that grows up to 3.25 feet with hollow stems that are covered in hairs. Plants grow aggressively to out-compete native vegetation by using resources more effectively and are forming extensive stands in Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Washington Counties.

Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)lesser celandine (right) grows as an herbaceous groundcover with kidney to heart-shaped leaves and daisy-like yellow flowers. Plants appear soon after snow melt and rapidly spread into new areas. After flowering in March and April, plants die back by June providing a very narrow window for which to search, identify and control this invader which is spreading in Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties.

Tall manna grass (Glyceria maxima)tall manna grass (left) is an exotic, perennial grass capable of invading swamps, ditches, and marshes as well as edges of lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks. Tall manna grass often forms huge monotypic stands that crowd out all native vegetation, ultimately eliminating habitat for native wildlife species. Preventing further dispersal by its several mechanisms, especially along streams, is critical. It readily produces seeds, especially right after initial invasion of a new site and is reported in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha Counties.

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)giant hogweed (below) is an herbaceous biennial or monocarpic perennial that grows as a bushy rosette the first year, and then bolts during the second year to 8-20 feet tall. The hollow, ridged stems are covered in coarse white hairs and reddish-purple mottling. Leaves are compound, 1 to 5 foot wide, palmate, deeply lobed and pointed. Flowers are large flat-top umbels, up to 20 inches wide across, with white, 5-petal flowers that bloom from May-July. To-date giant hogweed has been contained in Sheboygan County. Sap from giant hogweed plants can cause severe burns and blisters!

water celeryWater celery (Oenanthe javonica) (left) invades aquatic and riparian wetland habitats, choking streams and displacing native riparian vegetation in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties. The plant is most easily detected and identified August-September and reproduces via seeds and runners (stolons), which may extend into waterways and break off, spreading fragments downstream that can establish new patches.

Don’t Miss This Hand’s On Class

outdoor classMany of us work to control invasive plants in the areas we care about. Take this class to ensure that you are using the most appropriate, efficient, up-to-date, and least environmentally damaging methods in those efforts.

September 30, 2017 (Saturday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Workshop fee: $60.00
Discounted fee of $45 offered to SEWISC members
Contact us for details: (262) 675-6844

Available for 0.8 CEU

This is a hands-on class. After an introduction to the general ecology of the five functional groups of invasive plants (shrubs, perennial forbs, clonal perennials, grasses, and annuals/biennials), we will discuss, demonstrate and practice all applicable control methods (chemical and non-chemical) for these five plant types.

Topics will also include: 1) Identification of our common and relatively new invaders, 2) Planning and strategy for an effective control program, 3) Use of hand tools and herbicide application methods, 4) Herbicide concentrations, mixing, and safety, 5) Restoration strategies for badly infested sites, and 6) Record keeping. Safe chainsaw use for woody species will be demonstrated only. Several take-home handouts and reference materials will be provided. Register today!

SEWISC Partners With Outpost in 2017

outpost meqounOutpost 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 be 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 component of what both Outpost and SEWISC strive to accomplish.

In 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. SEWISC representatives are visiting Outpost locations with educational information and presentations during the months of April, May and June so pick up our brochure on your next shopping trip!

SEWISC Assistance Program

2017 Awardees announced

Three applicants were recently selected for funding to our 2017 SEWISC Assistance Program, which was graciously sponsored by the We Energies Foundation. The on-the-ground invasive species control projects will be conducted in our region over the next few months. Here is a summary of those projects:

Mee Kwon mequonMee-Kwon Park Woods is a 40 acre critical species habitat site recently recommended for an upgrade to a Natural Area of local significance. The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department will complete an inventory for new invasive species and implement best management actions to protect and improve the ecology of this important habitat. Department staff will provide the conservation corps team training on local ecology, invasive species and techniques used in invasive species management and habitat restoration.

A second project funds a private landowner to control invasive species on more than 15 acres of environmental corridor in the Mukwonago River watershed. The parcel contains several remnant prairies, a wetland, and oak and hickory wooded areas, and the long-term goal is to restore sustainable pre-settlement natural habitat of native plant communities that will provide food, water, shelter for indigenous species and enhance its usefulness as part of the watershed.

The City of Racine will remove more than 1,000 dying ash trees from the Colonial Park floodplain this winter. Effective restoration will increase storm water infiltration and storage, maintain water quality, and improve habitat for wildlife and people that visit. Weed Out! Racine is assisting with an essential component of this multi-faceted project by removing the invasive plants already present which will allow newly planted native vegetation to thrive.WeEnergiesFoundation CLRhorz

Thank you to We Energies Foundation for supporting these vital efforts!

New SEWISC Sign Salutes Individual Efforts

SEWISCsign start4Even 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 $16.99 each or two for $29.99 (price includes shipping and handling).

To order just download, complete and send a SEWISC Sign Order Form with your payment. ***Supplies are limited!***

Wisconsin’s 13th Annual Invasive Species Awareness Month

Protect the places where you play: Keep invasives out!

The 2017 Annual Invasive Species Awareness Month of June will be filled with events, a video contest, the annual Invader Crusader Awards, and more. 

wi invasive species counsil

Do you have your events all planned and just need to promote?  Email the ISAM Coordinator to register your invasive species workday, workshop, or other fun stuff.  Click here for information and ideas on what the citizens of Wisconsin can do to help further our battle against invasive species.

We’re Celebrating our 10th Year!

10 year birthdayIt seems like only yesterday when Jill Hapner met with her supervisor, Marcia Sieckman at the Milwaukee Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to explore the idea of starting a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) in southeastern Wisconsin. These “weed” groups were making a positive difference throughout the western U.S. states and at that time, there were only two similar groups in Wisconsin: Northwoods CWMA and Door County Invasive Species Team.

The BLM partnered with the US Forest Service to hold a stakeholders meeting in June, 2007 which was hosted by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District. Representatives from eight counties including Federal, State and local governments, nonprofit organizations and residents joined together to unanimously support the establishment of the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC).

Just two years later in 2009, SEWISC was selected for an Invader Crusader Award by the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species. These awards are presented to a small number of individuals or groups each year to recognize their commitment to preventing the spread of invasives through public education and/or on-the-ground management work resulting in measurable benefits to the people and lands of Wisconsin. The Council wrote: “SEWISC's dedication to being part of the solution has been of inspiration to those around you. It was with great pleasure that we took on the task of learning about your tireless efforts.”

Guided by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network’s CWMA Cookbook and a dedicated steering committee, SEWISC incorporated as a non-profit membership organization in 2010. Our work has focused on protecting our natural resources through education and by promoting the stewardship needed to prevent and control the establishment and spread of invasive plant and animal species. Thank you to all our dedicated volunteers and donors who have worked and who continue to advance SEWISC’s mission!

Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

The 2017 competition is underway - support your favorite team today!

Hundreds of volunteers are actively protecting the woodlands of their neighborhoods by teaming up to pull and bag garlic mustard and dame’s rocket throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Our goal is to collectively pull 10,000 pounds in 2017 and raise essential funds for the fight against invasive species. This Annual Spring Event is a competition, a fundraiser, and a way for people to join together and have a positive impact on their environment.

garlic mustard pullathon 2017 newsClick here to SUPPORT your favorite team today:

  • Caledonia Conservancy Land Trust
  • City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation & Forestry
  • Eagle Nature Trail
  • Mequon Nature Preserve
  • Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy
  • Milwaukee County Zoo
  • Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
  • Riveredge Nature Center
  • River Revitalization Foundation
  • Sheboygan County YMCA Camp Y-Koda
  • Ulao Creek Partnership
  • Weed Out! Racine

    Pull-A-Thon proceeds will be used for invasive species adult and youth education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin. All pledge contributions are tax-deductible. Our impressive Traveling Trophy and bragging rights will be surrendered from last year’s winner and awarded to the 2017 Pull-A-Thon Team that collects the most pledges and pulls the most garlic mustard by June 30th.