Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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25 Simple Ways to Help Our Planet

You don’t have to plant a dozen trees in your backyard (though we won’t stop you). Minor changes to everyday choices and behaviors can cumulatively make a major positive impact on our planet.

Here are 25 simple steps you can challenge yourself, family and friends to take that will lead to a more environmentally-friendly and healthier lifestyle:

  1. Plant a tree.
  2. Plant a vegetable, herb or native flower garden.
  3. Participate in a local clean up event.
  4. Go meatless for one day a week.
  5. Refill: kick the bottled water habit
  6. Recycle: think before you trash it (or buy it)
  7. Skip the drinking straw.
  8. Reduce the load; power down and unplug.
  9. Donate food locally.
  10. Remember to bring your own reusable bag.
  11. Flip the switch to save lights and equipment.
  12. Buy local and sustainable.
  13. Detox the mailbox and stop junk mail.
  14. Carpool and save fuel.
  15. Park the car; walk or ride a bike.
  16. Give back and volunteer in the community.
  17. Select save instead of print.
  18. Print double-sided on recycled paper.
  19. Save one drop at a time; fix leaking faucets.
  20. Get outdoors and connect with the natural world.
  21. Choose a reusable coffee cup.
  22. Take the food waste challenge and reduce waste.
  23. Read the label; eat for health and nutrition.
  24. Power up using alternative fuels.
  25. Donate money to a local green organization (yes, like SEWISC!).

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Thank you in advance for caring for yourself, our natural environment and our fragile planet.

Pollinator Week

Wings of Life!

Pollinator Week is an annual celebration in support of pollinator health that was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership. It is a time to raise awareness for pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them. The remarkable thing about Pollinator Week is that you can celebrate and get involved any way you like! Popular events include planting for pollinators, hosting garden tours, participating in online bee and butterfly ID workshops, and so much more. However you choose to celebrate this year, be sure to register your event on the map and share your story on social media using the hashtag #PollinatorWeek.

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Welcome to Our New Board Adviser, Patrick Siwula

patrick siwulaPatrick joined the WDNR invasive species program in October 2021. Prior to that, he served as the Sheboygan County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator, working with local groups on aquatic invasive species monitoring, outreach/education, and mapping to protect priority State lands. He spent several years as an environmental consultant, often working with multiple stakeholders to address environmental issues and regulations. Patrick also has experience in environmental research and graduated with B.S. and M.S. degrees from UW-La Crosse and UW-Milwaukee, respectively, with focuses on environmental science and freshwater science and technology.

In his current position as Southeast Region AIS Coordinator covering the southern half of the Lake Michigan basin, Patrick serves as one of five full-time Regional AIS Coordinators stationed throughout the state, which represents a new model for the statewide AIS program. Patrick’s main responsibilities include conducting AIS response and pathways monitoring, along with serving as the WDNR AIS Regional Contact for Southeast Wisconsin. Other duties include providing guidance to Lakes Monitoring and Protection Network partners in the region, grant support, AIS data management, and helping with efforts to address the Organisms in Trade pathway. Patrick is an avid Wisconsin sports fan and enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing/kayaking, and spending time with family, friends, his fiancé, and their two dogs.

Stewardship Sign

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Salutes your individual efforts

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 (especially your adjacent neighbors!).

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

2022 Awardees announced

Sixteen local proposals were submitted for funding to the 2022 SEWISC Assistance Program. The selection committee ultimately awarded seven small grants for on-the-ground invasive species control projects which will be conducted in our region over the next few months. Here is a summary of those projects:

$1,179 was awarded to the Wehr Nature Center to control populations of flowering rush and replace with native cattail, arrowhead, common bur-reed, and other native emergent plants. The proposed management will enhance habitat for common bur-reed and valuable nesting habitat for birds and fish. SEWISC funds will be used to provide native plants, equipment, and labor.

The Lyndon Sculpture Garden was awarded $2,000 to implement a regimen of planned grazing and minimal herbicide applications to woody invasive species on a portion of Conservancy easement properties. Restoration of the prairie/oak savanna area will provide benefits to insects, birds, small mammals, and coyotes by providing a greater diversity of food and habitat opportunities. Funding will be used to rent 30 goats for 20 days.

Grant parkGrant Park, Milwaukee
Photo Credit: Rob Vajagich
A $2,000 award was given to the Mequon Nature Preserve to control teasel, wild parsnip, buckthorn, common honeysuckle, and multi-floral rose on a newly acquired 66-acre parcel. Removing invasive species from this property will improve soil health, increase groundwater filtration rates, and mitigate soil erosion. SEWISC funds will provide herbicide and supplies required to implement the project.

SEWISC awarded $200 to the Friends of Grant Park for treatment of seed producing Japanese lilac trees within a two-acre parcel adjacent to small waterway that connects to the Grant Park ravine. Removal of these trees will allow the area to be restored with native species. Funds will be used to hire a contractor to girdle trees.

Sandhill Tree Farm was awarded $2,000 to remove common buckthorn from a portion of their 11.52-acre project area, providing increased habitat for riparian bird, mammal and aquatic species that use this area. The SEWISC award will be used for labor and herbicide.

A $2,000 award was given to the Ward Property to control buckthorn, garlic mustard, dames rocket, and purple loosestrife within a 4.5-acre woodland. The project will open the canopy and allow native species to establish while reducing erosion and providing additional habitat for wildlife including amphibians and reptiles. SEWISC funds will provide native seed, and labor for invasive species treatments.

2022 funding for this program made possible byWeEnergiesFoundationWeed Out! Racine was awarded $583 for removal and treatment of phragmites, reed canary grass, and narrow-leaved/hybrid cattails within a wetland adjacent to the Root River. Following treatment, the area will be seeded and planted with native species. The resulting restoration will expand habitat for amphibians and birds already using this area. Funding will be used to provide equipment and materials for mechanical and chemical treatments.

2022 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon

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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!

Help us remove this invader and keep our local natural areas healthy. You can spatially-distance and safely pull garlic mustard during the 2022 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

Order a Pull-A-Thon T-shirt!

Wisconsin’s 18th Annual Invasive Species Action Month

Protect the places where you play: Keep invasives out!

WI Council

The 2022 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 Newest 2022 Generous Sponsors!

We would like to thank our newest Early Detection Sponsors, Diverse Environmental Landscapes and Ozaukee Washington Land Trust who support 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 Diverse Environmental Landscapes and Ozaukee Washington Land Trust 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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