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News

Greene County Community Call Out & Invasive ID Hike

Emily Finch

Greene County SWCD forms CISMA to tackle invasive species

Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, along with the nonprofit group Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM), are leading the formation of local partnerships to address invasive species, and they need your help.

Join us for our “Community Call Out”, July 24th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Shakamak State Park’s West Shelter House and bring your ideas and questions about invasive species in your county.

Invasive species can include plants such as the infamous Kudzu, known as the vine that “ate the south.” They can also refer to animals/insects, think of the Emerald Ash Borer, a small insect from Asia that has spread across much of the Midwest, killing millions of native ash trees. In fact, there are many different invasives in Indiana that spread and cause serious economic, environmental, and health impacts. Poison Hemlock, an invasive noxious weed commonly seen along roadsides and fencerows, is highly toxic to humans and livestock. Many invasive shrubs, such as Autumn Olive, were and sometimes still are planted as landscaping for wildlife.  Unfortunately, they create a dense shrub layer in woodlands and interfere with the growth of native plants, including new tree seedlings. 

While private and public landowners have managed invasives for years, according to SICIM, one of the best ways to address the threat of invasive species is through local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas or CISMAs.  Among other things, these grassroots partnerships help to raise awareness of local invasive concerns, bridge the gap between management of invasives on public/private lands, and help address emerging invasive threats. 

To support CISMAs, SICIM has partnered with NRCS to hire regional specialists around the state as part of an Indiana Invasives Initiative (more info at http://www.sicim.info/cisma-project/). In Greene County the SWCD worked with Brown, Owen and Monroe Counties to receive a Clean Water Indiana grant which allows each county to offer funding for invasive removal and native replanting for residents.  

For more information, contact Amber Slaughterbeck at Amber@SICIM.info or Casey Kennett at Casey-kennett@iaswcd.org.