Stemming the Spread of Invasives

prairie_flowersInvasive species cost Indiana an annual $5.7 million! This is an astonishing figure, but I never knew how prevalent invasives were in Monroe County until a MC-IRIS workshop at Snayl Day.

Bush honeysuckle is what comes first to mind. It’s sweet smell and white and yellow flowers are an annual occurrence throughout the county. The Indiana DNR recognizes no more than eight (8) terrestrial invasive plants. Of course this doesn’t include land invertebrates, vertebrates, or pathogens and diseases, nor aquatic varieties. The Indiana DNR has a great list with pictures for your reference. The Indiana Invasives Species Council is also a great resource.

Invasives are not just an Indiana problem; it effects some of the world’s poorest the most. Researchers found that “these invasions are also threatening the last remaining biodiversity strongholds in the world’s most fragile economies”. Nature Communications published these finding last month, complete with recommendations.

Here in Monroe County we have biodiversity strongholds including our lakes and streams. Fortunately, those here in Monroe County have two private resources: MC-IRIS and EcoLogic. While one is focused on education and the other to establish and restore native plant communities, they both are providing local solutions. You should contact them to remain knowledgeable as we are continually learning more!

There are also public resources such as the Monroe County Parks and Rec. The Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District is a great public resource as well. They have a variety of workshops for pollinators, edge of field maintenance, Oak community restoration and they offer native plants for sale to the public.

The Monroe County Environmental Commission hosts presentations at its monthly meetings. September’s presentation will made by representatives from MC-IRIS. The public is welcome to attend these presentations, and CATS also records these sessions.


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