Invasive Species Workshop Series

Join Us for an Invasive Species Two Part workshop series!

Mark your calendars for two important workshops dedicated to understanding and learning the various ways to treat these invasive plant species. Invasive plant species are one of the greatest threats to our native ecosystems.  At one time our natural lands were resilient enough to allow the attitude of “let nature take its course”.  Lately, the numerous pressures that have been placed upon our native systems have weakened them so much that it is easy for invasive plants to arrive in an area and displace the native plants and animals.  We need your assistance in tackling invasive plant species in our parks, natural areas, and neighborhoods.

Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply curious about the impact of invasive species on our environment, these workshops are perfect for you. Led by local experts, Ginny Wanty and Jessie Schulte. Both are passionate about invasive species education and control.

Ginny is an award-winning conservationist, the former MSU Extension Master Naturalist Coordinator, was a middle school administrator and science teacher and has degree in Forestry and Outdoor Recreation.

Jessie is the District Manager of Kent Conservation District, has been treating invasive species for the last 18 years. Her experience was gained working all over the US from City Public Works to three National Parks.

Workshop 1: Invasive Species 101, Classroom Setting 

Invasive Species 101“Classroom Session” will take place on August 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. This session will be held indoors at the Friends office, allowing you to learn in a comprehensive class-style setting.

Workshop 2: Invasive Species 102: “Identifying Invasive Species” 

Invasive Species 102 “Identifying Invasive Species” will take place on September 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in an outdoor setting at Huff Park. This session will provide a unique outdoor experience where you’ll get to put your newfound knowledge into practice.

During this outdoor workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to observe invasive species firsthand in their natural habitat. Our local experts will highlight key identification features and discuss the ecological impacts of each species encountered along the way. You’ll learn how to distinguish them from native species and learn how to report their sightings to MISIN.  Participants will discover the strategies used to control and manage invasions. as well as see demonstrations of the various different treatment methods for invasive plant species. (There will be time for class members to try out the cut stump technique of removing a woody invasive using a dauber.) 

Registration and more information can be found by clicking here

After you attend these workshops, you will:

  • Understand the basics of invasive species in West Michigan and their ecological impact. 
  • Begin to identify common invasive species in our area like– Garlic mustard, Autumn olive, Buckthorn, Oriental bittersweet, Purple loosestrife
  • Be able to recognize and address the threats of these species effectively in parks and your yard.
  • Learn the various treatment control options.

Don’t miss this chance to expand your understanding of invasive species and learn how you can make a difference in protecting our local parks and plants!