Japanese knotweed, now a state prohibited plant, is spreading explosively in some areas of southern Michigan. Due to its attractiveness in flower and former intentional planting in many landscapes as a cultivar, the insidiousness and particular challenges of managing this plant are often not recognized until infestations are extensive. Common first approaches like using over-the-counter herbicides and pruning or mowing can actually stimulate its spread. Effective treatments for Japanese knotweed ARE available and involve a combination of community and municipality education and using the right herbicides at the right time. We will present lessons learned and successes in managing Japanese knotweed in Ingham and Clinton Counties, which have taught us how to manage other invasive species more effectively, too!
You can also read more about Japanese Knotweed in this article, written by Monica Day (Michigan State University Extenstion; Grand-Raisin Cluster)
Dr. Leslie Kuhn - Field Projects Coordinator and Co-founder, Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative. Successes include partnering with MDNR, Ingham County Parks, Meridian Township and private landowners to acquire and protect 120 acres of woods and wetlands in the Lake Lansing area. Mid-Michigan Stewardship provides public workshops and demonstration native gardens, and is currently working with 104 different private, commercial and municipal landowners on our regional Phragmites, Japanese knotweed, and swallow-wort control projects (including real estate companies DTN and Eyde; ITC Transmission Line Co; MDOT; MSU; Meridian Township Parks, Land Preservation Advisory Board, and Public Works; Lake Lansing Special Assessment District/ Watershed Advisory Committee; East Lansing Parks and Public Works; Lansing Parks; MDNR Rose Lake State Wildlife Area; Wild Ones; several neighborhood associations, and the Road Commissions in Ingham, Clinton, and Shiawassee Counties). Dr. Kuhn received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in structural biology and molecular design at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. As Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, Dr. Kuhn collaborates on blocking pheromone reception in the invasive sea lamprey and Asian longhorned beetle, and reducing the allelopathic effects of garlic mustard to enhance the restorability of natural areas.
Lisa Brush - Lisa is the Executive Director of The Stewardship Network. Lisa has been leading collaborative conservation initiatives in the nonprofit environmental sector for over two decades. In her role as co-founder and Executive Director of The Stewardship Network she has engaged thousands of professionals and volunteers in identifying community and conservation needs of the 21st century and determining strategic support The Network can provide. She has managed and overseen grant projects from federal and state agencies, as well as family and private foundations. She has been involved in all aspects of organizational management including foundation/agency relationships, grant based project funding, budget tracking, contract negotiation, implementation, accountability, project reporting and staff and board development. Lisa has facilitated strategic planning sessions, focus groups, citizen task forces, community visioning sessions, and public involvement and feedback meetings with groups ranging in size from four to four hundred. Lisa emphasizes tried and true in-person methods of bringing people together augmented by the use of cutting edge online technology. Lisa serves on numerous boards of directors, has a BA in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, an MS from University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a graduate of Michigan State University's Great Lakes Leadership Academy.