Battling Invasive Plant Species–Special Presentation

Experts to discuss invasive plant crisis–why it’s important and what can be done!

Menard County Trails & Greenways invites the public to an engaging presentation about invasive plants—what they are, why they are a serious problem and what can be done about them—February 22, 2023, at Broadgauge in Petersburg at 7 p.m.

Chris Evans, Illinois Extension Forester, co-chair of the terrestrial plants committee of the Illinois Invasive Species Council and Secretary of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, specializes in forest health, invasive species, and restoration/management practices for hardwood forests. Chris will provide an overview of invasive species, describe how they threaten native species and natural ecosystems, review several common invasive species found in Illinois, and discuss what landowners and the public can do to help out.

Ray Geroff, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Heritage Biologist serving west-central and western Illinois counties, specializes in natural area management, endangered and threatened species monitoring and management, prescribed burning and invertebrate conservation. Ray will provide information about the New Salem Habitat Restoration Project implementation and associated management techniques (mechanical, chemical, and prescribed fire) and how each is needed to accomplish the project’s overall goals. He will also provide information on other related conservation initiatives and partnerships in the area.

            A variety of non-native invasive plants—bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and multiflora rose, for example—have significant environmental and economic consequences. Invasive species are harming the native plants and animals we care about conserving, making forests and prairies less diverse and threatening wildlife. Climate change also creates opportunities for invasive species to seek new habitats.

            A dense stand of honeysuckle limits sunlight from reaching a forest floor, stunting the growth of native species, including tree regeneration. Over time, plant community loss affects other wildlife, including birds and mammals. In brief, left unchecked, invasive species will profoundly change native ecosystems.

            Everyone is welcome to attend this free presentation taking place in the stunning Broadgauge ballroom. Please support Broadgauge by purchasing a beverage at the bar beforehand to carry upstairs. Or even better–come early for supper! (Reservations recommended)

Help spread the word about this informative and entertaining presentation. Download the flyer HERE!