A one-day workshop on invasive species — the plants and creatures that pose an ongoing threat to the nation's biodiversity — will be held Thursday, March 1, at Watchtower Lodge, Black Hawk State Historic Site, Rock Island.
The focus will be on management techniques for woods, prairies and wetlands and is aimed at a wide swath of people. This includes gardeners; conservationists; educators/students; concerned citizens; public, private and nonprofit land managers and owners; city parks and recreation and public works employees; and nursery, tree and landscape professionals.
The workshop is being organized by the committee that has for the past three years organized the Quad-Cities Pollinators Conference. The committee decided to give that topic a rest, taking a year off to consider what conservation issue to focus on next, said Lindsey Kennedy, of Nahant Marsh Education Center, one of the committee members.
Members aligned under the new name of the Bi-State Conservation Action Network include Nahant Marsh, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, the Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District, Trees Forever, University of Illinois Extension, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Wallace's Garden Center.
Invasive species threaten farms, preserves, parks, and even our backyards, Kennedy notes. In the workshop, experts will share the latest tools and research and showcase how invasive species can be contained.
Here is the schedule:
9:30 a.m. Welcome and overview of invasive species as a topic of concern, Brian Ritter, executive director at Nahant Marsh
9:30-10:15 a.m. Woodland invasives, including management techniques, Mark Vitosh, District 12 Forester at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
10:15-11 a.m. Prairie invasives, including management techniques, Dale Maxson, eastern Iowa land steward at The Nature Conservancy
11-11:45 a.m. Wetlands invasives, including management techniques, Chris Evans, forester at University of Illinois Extension
11:45 a.m. to12:15 p.m. Morning presenters question-and-answer panel
12:15-1 p.m. Lunch and registration prize drawing
12:30 p.m. Black Hawk invasives: issues and tactics with outdoor tour (weather permitting), Candace Ritchie, site technician at Black Hawk State Historic Site
2:30-3:30 p.m. Panel: Invasive species management: challenges and successes, Steve Fairbanks, landowner and Natural Area Guardians volunteer; Mike Petersen, park ranger at Illiniwek Forest Preserve; Joshua Spensley, grounds maintenance supervisor at John Deere World Headquarters; Emily Swihart, east-central Iowa field coordinator at Trees Forever
3:30-4 p.m. Call to action and raffle drawings, Emily Swihart, east-central Iowa field coordinator at Trees Forever