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Invasive Help Wishlist

On December 13, The Connecticut Invasive Plants Council is holding an open meeting to ask the public — from anywhere, not just Connecticut — for suggestions to help “stop or abate the introduction and spread of invasive species.” Education, control methods, enforcement, financing, research... any ideas! The Council asks speakers to limit their talk to to three minutes; people may also submit written testimony.

Where? Room 1E, Legislative Office Building, Hartford. For directions, see <http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/>, or call (860) 486-6448.

Here’s my list. First, more focus on the whole of New England, and clearer coordination between the various groups working on this problem. For example, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE). This website (<http://invasives.eeb.uconn.edu/ipane/index.html>) is currently a top source on the plants themselves. Its coverage of events and organizations, however, is spotty and disorganized. It could be a powerful tool for networking.

Another group, the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) --<http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/>), is more focussed on grassroots networking, but that’s not mentioned where IPANE lists and links to it. In fact the overlap between the various groups and their sites is confusing, needs to be better thought-out and represented on their sites.

Second, printed materials widely available. Though the Web has great resources, spreading the word requires brochures and posters and handouts distributed by libraries, town offices, churches, conservation groups ... and where else would you take them? For example the 16-page booklet Native Alternatives for Invasive Ornamental Plant Species, edited by Timothy M. Abbey. You can download it from <http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/CTAlternatives04Revised90res.pdf>. To get printed copies, email Abbey at <timothy.abbey@po.state.ct.us> or call Donna Ellis of CIPWG, at (860) 486-6448. We also need a similar short piece on the Top Offenders.

Third, support — development and funding — for much more grassroots action. CIPWG lists speakers (<http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/>): will some of these come to the rest of New England? Do they cost money? How about a phrase describing each speaker’s background (so you don’t have to search the Web to find out). Also, how about not just speakers but leaders for projects?

CIPWG’s new Public Awareness subcommittee has a 30-second, horror-movie-style video about Japanese Hogweed (see http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/products/outreach/knotweed.mp4>); they need funding to make copies and distribute it.

Finally, let’s brainstorm: “Not Wanted” posters at the supermarket, scouts selling native plants door-to-door, neighborhood parties to remove invasives, garden clubs inventing plant-education games....?x


© Copyright 2004 Catherine Holmes Clark


Published in the six Nashoba Publications papers on Friday, 10 December 2004

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