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Nor Serocki

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  1. The SWxSW Corner CISMA, a grant funded program focusing on invasive species education and management, is seeking a new coordinator. This fulltime, grant funded position will work in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties to assist land owners and managers to better address invasive species issues. This includes outreach and education programming, working with municipalities, and both grant writing and reporting. Additional information about the position can be found here, and a full list of expectations can be found here. Questions as well as applications, consisting of a cover letter and 1-2 page resume, can be sent to current CISMA Coordinator Eleanor Serocki at invasivesed@vanburecd.org. The CISMA is hoping to fill this position by the end of July or early August. CISMA Coordinator PD 2021.pdf CISMA_Coordinator_Description.pdf
  2. Recently, Lowe's started a "SpringFest" campaign that includes free garden kits each Thursday this month. Unfortunately, a lot of these programs, historically, have included general "wildflower" seed packets which sometimes include problem species, such as baby's breath or some species of forget-me-nots. I reached out to the PR team and got a pretty good response. Though the seeds do include some that are non-native/naturalized, it largely avoids invasives. Additionally their "tree give away" is sourcing local Michigan red pines, which is such a better step then the general programs which provide the same species across their entire service area! I know a few years ago there were questions about a similar Cheerios promotion, so I wanted to get ahead of this one! Seed balls are either: Red corn poppy, lanceleaf coreopsis, purple coneflower, or wild cosmos Wildflower Seed Mix includes: baby blue eyes, black-eyed susan, candytuft, catchfly, corn poppy, English daisy, five spot, gloriosa daisy, scarlet flax, Siberian wallflower, sweet william pinks, tall spurred snapdragon, zinnia.
  3. Hi All, Fallon at the BCK CISMA and I have been working with The Stewardship Network to host a webinar series focusing on riparians at 1pm on Mondays in February. We have two of these events left, with Tom Alwin from EGLE doing an invasive species update Monday, February 15th and Eric Bacon from ANC talking about permitting on the 22nd. Recordings of the sessions are also available on The Stewardship Network's YouTube. Please feel free to share with your networks, riparians, or lake associations!
  4. Looks great, Ben! Love how easy it is to get around and the user specific sliders!
  5. What a great idea, Erica! Please let us know when this link is available for the video. Our Conservation District partners do a lot of work with our Farmers Market managers, and I would love to have them add this information for them in the future.
  6. These look awesome, McKenzi? Would we be able to switch out logos (giving credit, of course)?
  7. Please see attached for the full poster and schedule! We are looking at hosting another Symposium, this time in the Spring to allow Riparians to put into practice the shoreline protection, invasive species removal, and monitoring we are discussing! Let us know if there are any questions! Shoreline Symposium.pdf
  8. We're working to increase mapping of ToH (especially in crop areas by pushing out MAEAP techs to keep an eye out) and are also using SLF as a way to reach many of our fruit growers. Our area has a significant amount of grape growers, who see SLF kind of as a Spotted Wing Drosophila we can get ahead of. We're not doing a big push on public outreach, since 2-3 years is a long time for an average person to hear about something without seeing it. Instead, we're going directly to growers, through local events or working with MSUE.
  9. We've played this kudzu tag game with Girl Scouts, and had some success! It's certainly better with elementary school aged students, and needs to be prefaced pretty heavily with how invasive species spread. It's a great way to get kids back up and paying attention if they're getting distracted/bored and you have the space!
  10. Thanks so much for uploading this, Ben! It was a great game to have at the start of the CISMA field trip, and perfect to get students engaged!
  11. I've recently had a homeowner coming up with the issue that in his third year of Knotweed treatment, more than 50% of the stems are too small to inject. Has anyone else run into this issue? What have you done once most of the stems can't be treated through injection? Thanks!
  12. Hey Megan, We regularly submit press releases to our local news outlets, including radio, TV, and newspapers. Being in a more rural area, there are some outlets (typically the smaller weekly ones) that pick up the piece, pretty much un-edited, every time. However, the bigger news outlets maybe pick up one or two pieces a year. These generally have pretty good reach, with the pieces for events (come to this workshop!) getting more measurable response than those for general info (Have you seen this plant?). However, this could easily be because we have more a chance for face time with those readers than the "informational" pieces, where there isn't an action item, which I like to think means those same people are reading all of the pieces we send in. The audience we have from press releases is also older in general than the total demographic of our area, since those are the folks that still get papers, listen to the radio, or watch local news stations. One of the Districts we work with does have a standing paid quarter page every other week in a small local paper. It's something the public really likes, but certainly isn't a huge "bang for the buck" on smaller grants. One of the best things about sending out regular press releases, though, is that your local news sources start recognizing you as a resource on the subject. For instance, when there was that big media blitz on Spotted Lanternfly in the spring, we never wrote a press release, but got multiple calls for statements or interviews, since we had worked with those folks before. Even if you don't get a huge circulation, having the CISMA's name out there more never hurts!
  13. I'm currently working with the MAEAP technicians in my area to prepare a presentation for the MAEAP track at next month's MACD conference on how CISMAs and MAEAP can work together. How have your programs been complimentary? What knowledge do you wish MAEAP techs could bring onto the farms the visit? Which species do you think most impact growers in your area? Are there ways we could work better together? I would love to hear any success stories (or get success photos!), as well as any issues that we could work to solve! Thanks in advance!
  14. Recently, we ran into an issue with stiltgrass patch photos, and trying to ID from that scale. We received a photo from a resident that iNaturalist had ID'd as stiltgrass. Both Greg Norwood and I also agreed that it looked like stiltgrass from the photo, but when I arrived it was actually just a patch of one of the Persicaria species. This is doubly complicated by the fact that, with the patches of stiltgrass we've worked with here in the Niles area, Persicaria is generally found nearby. I've attached a couple photos of patches where the two species grow together, with the stiltgrass outlined in red circles. Persicaria spp. would never have really fallen on my list of possible look-a-likes, but, at least in photos, it can be tricky!
  15. That's crazy! I've heard in some cases that knotweed will "retreat" if it faces a large stress, not sprouting for a year or two. Could this have been the case? However, the only cases I've seen this in were really harsh mid-spring freezes, and after treatment. Unfortunately, the knotweed usually springs back up a few years later, sometimes a short distance away. Has anyone else seen this happen?
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