Battling invasive wild parsnip, thistles, Queen Anne’s lace? Parsnip Predator tool knocks them down, saves your back.

I’ve heard good things about this shovel-like tool available through the Prairie Enthusiasts. Its bird-mouth blade centers on a plant’s taproot inches below the soil, permitting a single thrust to sever the root without sliding off target as a normal, rounded-edge spade often does. To learn more or purchase, visit here.

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What is an invasive species? Jesse Tucker video provides succinct education with entertaining flare

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Cute 11-year-olds do a great job of describing an ugly plant: Garlic Mustard

Published on June 22, 2012 by   | The Potomac Highlands CWPMA short film about Garlic Mustard. Filmed with the help of the Petersburg Elementary School 5th-grade class at Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. Plant ID, history, and treatment.

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Don’t let invasive plants create “learned helplessness” — Crownvetch can be beaten with attitude

Published on May 8, 2012 by   | Years ago many residents of the midwest planted non-native crownvetch. It was encouraged as a good form of erosion control. Ecology is a science of adaptive muddling. Later people realized this plant is an invasive plant in Wisconsin. Strangely it does little to reduce erosion. A few small clumps of this plant eventually covered a huge chunk of the shoreline near the boathouse at the Estate, quickly. This week’s activity was the next stage in controlling this invasion of crownvetch. For the past few years students every semester have worked in ecology class and with Stewardship in Action to take down the numbers of this crownvetch. After three years we finally have a hint of the upper hand. This year with the population dwindling we began restoring native plants to the shoreline once populated entirely with this invasive.

Part of invasive control is removing the pest species. An additional requirement is the restoration of native plants so the bare dirt doesn’t invite other invasives, or contribute to erosion. The native plants include bee balm, foxglove, new england asters, blazing star, and black eyed susans. All of the plants were started in class in the past month with the hard work of the students.

No problem is ever too big in environmental science. One of my professors at UW Madison used to discuss this concept called “learned helplessness.” Often as educators we fixate on the problems and neglect discussion of solutions. If this is how we teach about the planet many people will think the problems are too big and it is too late to do anything. This apathy is the learned helplessness my professor warned me about. This patch of crownvetch looked insurmountable when Jean and I first noticed it a few years ago. We began the process of evicting the plant before it spread along other sections of the shoreline on Black Oak Lake. It took a few years but from the first efforts to knock down the crownvetch we saw at as providing two opportunities. First, we could kill off an invasive if we kept at it. Second, we could show students how easy solutions can be for these kind of challenges.

We won’t be done with this shoreline for a few more years. Each year we will have to go after the crownvetch again as a huge number of seeds remain dormant in the soil. We will continue to add more native plants, creating a flow of native species in as we remove the exotic invasive. Over the next few years these perennials will spread across the ground and shade out the last of the invasive crownvetch in the soil.

Thank you to Everyone
from CS1, CS2, CS3, CS4
and the four year
program for your hard
work.

Music Featured is “Planting Trees” by David Tamulevich, used by permission of the artist.

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Invasive species destroy environment in at least four different ways

Published on Apr 25, 2012 by   | Invasive species, including plants and animals, are harmful to the natural environment. This video provides examples of invasive species currently affecting southwest central Florida and the steps being taken to control them.

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Funding critical to pay for professional controlled burn crew

Published on Apr 25, 2012 by   | Southfield has long been dedicated to the environment. This commitment was recently reaffirmed through a controlled burn at the city’s Valley Woods Nature Preserve. Southfield Sun reporter Jennie Miller reports for 15 NEWS EXTRA.

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Postponing a prescribed burn plan will result in damaging uncontrolled fires

Published on Apr 24, 2012 by   | Watch LIPBS Executive Director Richard Amper discuss the need for prescribed burns in the Pine Barrens.

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Controlled burning is “the single most effective” way to achieve multiple environmental goals

One of the characteristics of human culture is our control and use of fire. But even though it is an essential tool, unplanned fires can take human lives and damage property; so fire suppression has been a common practice for over 100 years in the United States.

(Read entire article from Fairfax County Park Authority here.)

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Watch 52-minute webinar on prescribed burning: Fire as a tool for managing wildlife habitat

Uploaded by on Mar 2, 2012  | January 2012 Wildlife for Lunch webinar presented by Dale Rollins.

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What’s the difference between a wildfire and a controlled burn? Video from DNR Environmental Control offers an understanding

Uploaded by on Feb 24, 2012  | Rob Line, Natural Heritage Program Manager for Delaware State Parks, explains the upcoming Prescribed Fire planned for Cape Henlopen State Park and visits the area to be burned.

“Your DNREC” is a new video series offering news and notes from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Uploaded by on Feb 28, 2012  |  Rob Line, Natural Heritage Program Manager for Delaware State Parks, explains the Prescribed Fire at Cape Henlopen State Park and shows us some of the results. This is Part 2 of a planned 4 part series on the burn.

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