Would you know an invasive species if you saw one?

Slideshow: The Indiana State Soil Conservation Board and NRCS are putting up money to help educate people about what invasive species look like and how to control them.

Would you know an invasive plant if you saw one on a roadside, in the woods or even in your barn lot or yard? Odds are you may not. That’s why Willem Drews helped put together a three-part series illustrating some of the most common, most pervasive invasive plants in Indiana. This is the third installment, featuring five more invasive plants in the accompanying slideshow.

Drews is an employee of the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ray Chattin, Vincennes, an SWCD supervisor, says one of Drews’ main jobs is to educate people about what invasive species are, why they must be controlled and what can be done to help battle them.

Two things happened recently that should put teeth in the effort to both alert people to the problem caused by invasive species, and convince them to organize and take steps to address the problem.

First, the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board approved three Clean Water Indiana grants to fund efforts to step up education and organizational efforts to fight the invasive species. Chattin is a member of the board.

Troy Hinkle, Knox County SWCD director, says one grant sends $95,200 to Dubois, Daviess and Martin SWCDs to hire an invasive species specialist. A second grant provides $95,000 to Vanderburgh, Warrick, Pike, Posey and Gibson SWCDs for the same purpose.

The final grant provides $300,000 to the Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management group, also called SICIM, to help establish countywide cooperative invasive species management areas, or CISMAs, throughout Indiana. SICIM is a 35-county group that has been active for some time.

That’s not the only help on the way. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, partnering with SICIM, will also provide a large amount of money to support formation of CISMA groups statewide.

Look for an opportunity to take part in the formation of a CISMA in your area.

This is the third and final article in this series on identification of invasive species.

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