Knotweed Breaks Through Roads, and Gives You A Vehicle - Hannah Hudson
Japanese knotweed breaks through roads and foundations, but it gives local organizations a vehicle to start the conversation about other invasive species with people who otherwise might not care. A principle of Interpretation is that if something affects YOU, you'll pay more attention to it. The extensive damage JK is doing in the UK and here at home is catching the attention of homeowners and municipal staff alike because it comes with a hefty price tag and personal threat. "This could happen to you." Ultimately, the question of, "How did it get here?!" is asked, which opens the door to understanding concepts that apply to ALL of these invading organisms. Our newly formed CISMA is using the threat that Japanese knotweed poses to City Infrastructure as a tool to bring awareness of invasive species to new corners of the population. I would like to share pictures/findings/prevention measures from the UK.
Knotweed? Not here... - Mike Bald
Japanese knotweed infestations present a dilemma to landowners and treatment program managers- how to accomplish successful eradication despite strained budgets, limited labor, short time horizons, and constant risk of re-infestation. Early detection and watershed-wide coordination are vital to successful management, but innovative local governments can also look to economic positives to fund knotweed removal programs and generate community interest. This presentation highlights courses of action open to municipalities wishing to improve habitat, property values, soil conditions, and biodiversity. Non-toxic treatment methods allow land stewards to control Japanese knotweed while feeding the vegetative material into the local economy, the art scene, and even the food system. The goal of eradication, as with common buckthorn, is achieved via economic benefits supporting managed transition of the landscape. Communities direct connected actions in a loosely centralized, but safe and programmatic manner (a stewardship network) that binds people more closely with their valued landscapes.
Hannah Hudson, City of Kalamazoo
Hannah was working her first summer as Tall Grass and Weeds Inspector for the City of Kalamazoo when a mystery plant showed up in the complaints. Japanese knotweed burst into her life and since then she's been sounding the alarm at all levels of the government, warning them of the impending invasion that will not only be costly but structurally devastating.
Michael Bald, Got Weeds?
Michael Bald founded his company, Got Weeds?, in early 2011 to offer non-chemical weed management options to landowners in central Vermont and New Hampshire. His focus is on long-term site stewardship, soil health, and native plant diversity; Mike seeks to integrate the worlds of invasive species, youth education, organic farming, and sustainable operations. With a BS in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, four years of service in the Army Corps of Engineers, and nine years working for the US Forest Service in Vermont, Mike appreciates the importance of healthy habitats, site specificity and ecosystem resilience. Got Weeds? has offered manual and mechanical weed control alternatives for six growing seasons. Although Mike has worked with invasive plant species for the past thirteen years, he has narrowed his focus to the "danger plants", solarizing as a refined technique, and an "economic opportunities" approach regarding invasive species.