Wild Ones Aug. 19 event targets area’s nastiest plant pests

Aliens have invaded northern Illinois’ natural lands. But they can be stopped! Learn about the area’s nastiest plant pests and the various control methods that are used to combat them when Mike Groves, natural resource manager for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, addresses the next meeting of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers.

The Wild Ones Natural Landscapers meeting program at 7 p.m., Aug. 19, at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., will focus on “Aliens, Noxious Weeds and How to Combat Them.”

Alien plants, also known as exotic, nonnative or nonindigenous plants, are species intentionally or accidentally introduced by human activity into a region in which they did not evolve. Many alien species are well known and economically important in agriculture and horticulture, such as wheat, soybeans and tulips. Alien species, whether plant or animal, often do not become established outside of cultivation and, if they do, usually have few adverse affects on natural communities.

Invasive alien plants, however, escape cultivation and become agricultural pests, infest lawns as weeds, displace native plant species, reduce wildlife habitat and alter ecosystem processes. Once thought to be a problem only on farms or in lawns, invasive plants are now recognized as a threat to natural areas, parks, forests and other sites. Examples include destruction of vast areas of Western rangelands, clogging of important waterways and increased costs in maintaining open power line rights-of-way.

Mike Groves will discuss the problem of invasive alien plants and some practical solutions. This program is free and open to the public. Contact Mary Anne Mathwich at (815) 624-6301 for details.

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.

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