Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Connect With The Outdoors

(From your backyard)

During safer-at-home limitations, you may have a heightened perception of things like: birds chirping, plants emerging, squirrels, rabbits or other wildlife scurrying about. Naturalist David Mizejewski recently shared with Wisconsin Public Radio four ideas for connecting with the outdoors from your backyard. David noted, "It's as simple as just going outside and making it a point to look at things that you might have otherwise ignored." Get started connecting at Connect Outdoors.

David’s suggestions include:

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Planting a native tree

Spotting birds

Learning native bird songs

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Planting a vegetable garden

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Helping native insects

Early Detection and Rapid Response

Battling invasion by five prohibited plant species

WildChervilBThis season we are continuing our work to map, manage and contain populations of five NR-40 listed plant species that have invaded 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 and are forming extensive stands in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.

Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)LesserCelandine02 (right) grows as an herbaceous groundcover with kidney to heart-shaped leaves and yellow buttercup 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 in which to search, identify and control this invader which is spreading in Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha,  Walworth and Washington Counties.

Hairy willow herb (Epilobium hirsutum)Epilobium hirsutum (left) is a semi-aquatic perennial herb that grows 3-6 feet tall, with fine, soft hairs covering the entire plant. Tall, branching stems form dense, monotypic stands that can be found in open riparian areas along streams, ditch banks, wetlands, and moist waste places. The plant is flood tolerant and spreads by seeds and stolons, which develop into rhizomes after growing into the ground. The rhizomes branch extensively and are growing up to 2 meters in length in Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan, and Waukesha Counties.

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)SH July5 17 1024x768 (right) 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, with white, 5-petaled 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!

Manchu Tubergourd (Thladiantha dubia)thladiantha dubia 073018 3 (left), also known as golden creeper, is a perennial herbaceous 6 to 20 foot vine with showy, bright yellow flowers that bloom from July to September. Leaves are ovate with a heart-shaped base and stems are slender, climbing over other vegetation by means of tendrils. Plants reproduce by very persistent, widely spreading, fleshy, underground, potato-like tubers, making the species extremely difficult to eradicate in Waukesha County.

EPA Funds to Control Invasive Plants Along our Coastal Roadways

JKWSEWISC continues to encourage and support southeastern Wisconsin roadway maintenance crews in their efforts to control invasive plant populations which were mapped through the efforts of more than 150 resident volunteers.  Wild parsnip, common and cut-leaved teasel, Japanese knotweed and common reed grass populations were the target of these citizen science inventory efforts. 

SEWISC held meetings with key representatives in more than 100 cities, towns, and villages in our region.  The invasive species inventory data was shared with the local officials and roadway managers during those meetings along with methods to control those populations. Roadway managers expressed a need for additional funding to control the populations, so we set our sights on securing those funds.

Nearly $551,000 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding through the Environmental Protection Agency was awarded to SEWISC for the control of 2,174 populations of our target inventory species along the roadways in Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha Counties. Local Roadway crews in those counties must use this funding for control efforts by September 30, 2020. Visit our Roadside Inventory and Management web page for more information and to view the map for your area. This is the final season for this funding so local governments must contact us soon for sub-awards details.

Stewardship Sign

2019SEWISCsign start colorqrSalutes your individual efforts

We are all spending a lot more time at home these days and even 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.

SEWISC Assistance Program

2020 Awardees announced

We are excited to announce that eleven excellent proposals were submitted for funding to the 2020 SEWISC Assistance Program, which was graciously sponsored by the We Energies Foundation. Although a challenging task, the selection committee chose five extraordinary on-the-ground invasive species control projects which will be conducted in our region over the next few months. The projects are summarized  below:

Path$2,000 was awarded to the Ulao Creek Partnership for invasive species management and native tree planting in conjunction with an ongoing large-scale habitat restoration within Ozaukee County’s Ulao Creek watershed.  The project site provides critical habitat for numerous native fish, herptile, avian and wildlife species. SEWISC funds will be used to provide partial funding to employ a conservation corps team that will assist with the control of herbaceous and woody invasive plant species.

Randy Reddemann & William Davidson were awarded $2,000 to fund an ongoing invasive species removal and restoration effort within the Mukwonago River watershed in Waukesha County. The project area is an important breeding ground for amphibians and a migratory bird stopover.  Funding will be used for mechanical cutting of treated buckthorn.

A $2,000 award was given to Sunny Lane Conservation Farm for continued control of invasive plant species in Racine County native prairie, wetland, and woodland plant communities. These efforts will enhance habitat for native wildlife populations, including butterflies, dragon flies, owls, hawks, wild turkeys, sandhill cranes and the Blanding’s turtle. SEWISC funds will provide equipment and personal protective gear for the volunteers and supplies needed for management and control efforts.

SEWISC awarded $874 to the Lynden Sculpture Garden to aid their efforts to control invasive woody species in a degraded prairie in Milwaukee County. This restoration project is part of an ongoing effort to restore the project area to a functioning, fire-dependent plant community while enhancing diversity of native flora and fauna. The Garden is situated between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River, making it an important stopover habitat for birds and other animals traveling along the two corridors.

WeEnergiesFoundation CLRhorzTall Pines Conservancy Land Trust was awarded $690 to eradicate a pioneer population of non-native invasive common reed in Waukesha County’s Mason Creek. Within a quarter mile of the infestation, three river systems flow through high quality wetland communities and into North Lake. This Early Detection and Rapid Response project will allow native flora and fauna to thrive without the threat of transformation into larger solid populations of non-native Phragmites. The SEWISC award will be used for equipment, labor, and herbicide.

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Garlic mustard is an invasive plant that is taking over our woodlands. It crowds out our beautiful native wildflowers and endangers forests by preventing tree seedlings from growing. To make matters worse, none of our native insects or wildlife eat it!gmp

Help us remove this invader and keep our local natural areas healthy. You can spatially-distance and safely pull garlic mustard during the 2020 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon, a regional competition organized by SEWISC. Your efforts will help revitalize natural areas and raise funds for ongoing control, education, and outreach.

A trophy and bragging rights will be awarded to the Pull-A-Thon Team that rises to the top by June 30.  Hurry!  There are 3 ways you can still get involved with this fantastic effort:

Form a Pull-A-Thon Team

Join a Pull-A-Thon Team

Sponsor/Support your favorite Pull-A-Thon Team

Wisconsin’s 16th Annual Invasive Species Action Month

Protect the places where you play: Keep invasives out!

WI Council

The 2020 Annual Invasive Species Action Month of June will be filled with events, a video contest, the annual Invader Crusader Awards, and more. 

Do you have your safe events all planned and just need to promote?  Email the ISAM Coordinator to register your invasive species workday, virtual 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.

Thank You to Our 2020 Generous Sponsor!

Stantec Color LogoWe would like to thank our new Early Detection Sponsor, Stantec who supports the mission of SEWISC by providing generous financial assistance.

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

Please join Stantec in their support of SEWISC, the only regional organization dedicated to invasive species prevention, education, management, and control in Southeastern Wisconsin.