Morris Arboretum

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Invasive Plant Conference

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Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council 2015 Conference
Research Applied in Invasive Plant Management

Tuesday, August 4 & Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Join researchers and invasive plant managers as they come together to discuss the latest invasive plant research and how it can be used to increase the effectiveness of invasive plant management strategies.

Keynote Speaker:Johnny Randall, Director of Conservation Programs, North Carolina Botanical Garden

Mid Atlantic Invasive Plant Council

The conference will focus on the importance of having a restoration plan prior to invasive plant removal. This is critical to avoid regrowth and re-infestation by targeted and other invasive species. The conference is geared to land managers, restoration specialists, botanic garden managers, and others interested in learning more about invasive plants, biodiversity, and habitat restoration.

Speakers include:

  • Betsy Von Holle—Assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. She will consider the effect of climate change on the invasion of non-native plants.
  • Michael Van Clef—President of Ecological Solutions will focus on invasive species control strategies in forest restoration projects and how to make the most impact with the time and money you spend.
  • Norris Muth—Assistant professor at Juniata College will discuss control of tree-of-heaven by the fungus Verticillium albo-atrum.
  • John Buck—Soil scientist with Civil and Environmental & Environmental Consultants. He will consider invasive plant management of steep slopes.
  • James Remuzzi—President of Sustainable Solutions will talk about prescribed fire to sustain eastern forests.

Click here for the complete conference agenda.

Overnight Accommodations
The conference is located at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). The address is 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, 25443. The NCTC campus offers very nice overnight accommodations and has great food. To make a reservation for overnight accommodations please call NCTC at (304) 876-7900 with your credit card. Your accommodation fee includes breakfast and dinner. The cost of lunch is included in your Invasive Plant Conference registration fee.

The following Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available:
International Society of Arboriculture CEUs for certified arborists
Society of American Foresters Continuing Forestry Education Credits
Pesticide recertification for the following states: PA, DE, NJ, WVA, MD, VA

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Upcoming Classes

Beer Tasting
Wednesday, May 20
6:30 - 8:30pm
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Savory Summer Soups and Salads
Thursday, May 28
12:00 - 2:00pm
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Mini Radiant Yoga Retreat: Inspiring Mindfulness
Saturday, June 13
10:00am - 2:00pm
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Invasive Plant Conference Agenda

Day One

8:30am — Welcome and Introduction
Celebrating Mid Atlantic Invasive Plant Council’s (MAIPC) 14th Anniversary--History and Highlights of MAIPC‘s Accomplishments—Jil Swearingen, MAIPC President and IPM Invasive Species Biologist, National Park Service, National Capital Region 8:45 am—Keynote address—How Will Climate Change Effect the Invasion and Management of Nonnative Plants?--Betsy Von Holle, Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida

9:45am - Break

10:00am — Restoration Successes: Forest, Floodplain, and Meadow Projects - Before and After
Carole Bergmann, Forest Ecologist/Field Botanist, Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission In this description and comparison of recent restoration projects Carole will concentrate on three or four sites and include a variety of habitat types including forest, meadow, and floodplain. This is a "before and after"/"how we did it” talk. Carole, who founded the citizen volunteer based Weed Warrior Program in 1999, will also discuss effectively using volunteers in restoration projects.

10:30amInvasive Species Control Strategies and Forest Restoration Projects…Getting the Biggest Bang for your Buck
Michael Van Clef, Ph.D., President, Ecological Solutions
Michael will discuss invasive species control strategies and forest restoration projects at the 1,400-acre Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain near Trenton, New Jersey. Topics include utilization of soil restoration ahead of tree planting, deer management, invasives mapping, and control strategies that acknowledge impacts of past land use and critical threats to highest conservation values.

11:00am — Prescribed Fire as a Management Tool for Historic Landscape Maintenance
Ed Wenschhof, Chief Ranger, Antietam National Battlefield—This session focuses on efforts at Antietam National Battlefield to use prescribed fire as one of several landscape management options to restore and sustain the historic landscape, manage invasive vegetation, and improve wildlife habitat. Topics covered will be burn planning, implementation, and resource monitoring.

11:30am — Question & Answer Session

12:00pm — Lunch

1:30pm — Invasive Species Control and Prescribed Fire to Sustain the Eastern Oak Forest
James Remuzzi, President and Founder, Sustainable Solutions-- James is a practicing forester with over ten years experience working in sustainable forest management. He will discuss the 200+ acre project to control invasive species in the Raystown Lake Watershed in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

2:00pm — Assessment of Plant Community Restoration Following Tree-of-Heaven Control by the Fungus Verticillium albo-atrum
Norris Muth, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology , Juniata College--Tree-of-Heaven (TOH) is a highly invasive woody species incurring substantial investment in control efforts across its extensive adventive range. A recently isolated strain of the fungus Verticillium albo-atrum has been found to cause near 100 % mortality of TOH in laboratory and field tests. Here we present our findings on the plant communities in experimentally infected TOH stands 5–6 years post treatment in comparison to uninfected control stands.

2:30pm — Integrating Biological Control and Native Plantings to Restore Sites Invaded by Mile-a-Minute Weed in the Mid-Atlantic
Judith Hough-Goldstein, Ph.D., Professor Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware—The mile-a-minute weevil, Rhinoncomimus latipes, first released in North America in 2004, has since shown good activity in suppressing mile-a-minute weed, Persicaria perfoliata, but in some cases other invasive plants have replaced the target weed. Ongoing experiments suggest that presence of a strong native competitor can prevent this “invasive species treadmill” effect. Depending on the initial plant community, restoration planting may be necessary to ensure such competition.

3:00pm — Break

3:15pm — Restoration of a Xeric Limestone Prairie in West Virginia
Mike Powell, Land Manager, The Nature Conservancy—Xeric limestone prairies are open, nonforested areas where herbaceous plant communities occur on shallow, rocky soils derived from calcareous substrates. These grasslands are characterized by the dominance of C4 perennial grasses (Schizachyrium scoparium and Bouteloua curtipendula in WV) and are distributed in eastern US from Missouri and Pennsylvania south to Arkansas and Georgia. Restoration techniques in the Smoke Hole Canyon in West Virginia involved canopy manipulation to mimic forest disturbance in order to provide more sunlight to herbaceous communities. Non-native invasive species removal and monitoring efforts are ongoing but preliminary observations indicate a positive response to this management technique.

3:45pm — Steep Slope Invasive Plant Management and Native Plant Restoration at Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington Scenic Byway and the Nine Mile Run Brownfield Redevelopment Site
John K. Buck, Soil Scientist/Project Manager, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.— John Buck will provide an overview of invasive plant management and native plant restoration at the Nine Mile Run brownfield redevelopment site at an abandoned slag dump and at a more natural setting on the steep slopes below the iconic view from Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood. At Nine Mile Run CEC worked on design-build ecological restoration in the Nine Mile Run stream corridor and adjacent areas at the southern end of Frick Park. The effort included 15 acres of revegetation of steep slag slopes without using soil, 60 acres of invasive plant management (including Frick Park), and assessment of invasive and native plant communities on approximately 100 acres in and around the greenway. On the slopes of Mount Washington, CEC is controlling erosion and establishing native plant communities on steep (up to 1:1 horizontal:vertical) slopes on Pittsburgh’s famous overlook. Fast-growing, mostly-invasive vegetation has caused an ongoing eyesore and maintenance burden for the City of Pittsburgh as these plants eclipse the spectacular views of Pittsburgh and her rivers from Mount Washington In concert with control of invasive plants, a major goal is to stabilize soils against erosion while establishing appealing, low-growing vegetation which, in conjunction with other management measures, will significantly resist re-infestation with problem plants.

4:15pm — Question & Answer Session

4:45pm — Adjourn

5:30pm — Social Hour in Lounge

Day Two

9:00am — Mid Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Business Meeting: Current Projects and Plans
Jil Swearingen, President, MAIPC

9:40am — Developments and Innovation s for the Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network (MAEDN)
Jil Swearingen, President, MAIPC—Jil will discuss the latest developments and innovations for the Mid Atlantic Early Detection Network that will better enable invasive plant reporters and expert verifiers do their work.

10:00am — Break

10:15am — Outdoor Session
Using Mobile Technology to Enhance Your Invasive Species Management Program—Steve Manning, President, Invasive Plant Control, Inc.—During this session we will demonstrate new technologies that have been developed specifically for invasive species managers. We will begin by heading outside to see some of the techniques used for controlling invasive species surrounding NCTC. Part of the demonstration will include the use of IPC’s newly developed online tools called IPC Connect (online tracking mapping and project management tools) and IPC Logic (a mobile smart tool for prescribing invasive plant management techniques). We encourage participants to bring along their smart phones or tablets so they can access and demo the tools while in the field. The field exercise should take about 45 minutes. Once complete we will head back to the classroom for a 30 minute online presentation highlighting the benefits of these tools.

11:30am — Lunch

1:00pm — Invasive Plants and Pollinators: Enhancing Ecosystem Services in Restoration
Matthew J. Sarver, Sarver Ecological, LLC— Invasive plant species alter the plant-pollinator dynamics of invaded systems. When planning invasive species management and restoration, it is important to understand the pollinator resources (including invaders) available in the degraded site and attempt to maintain or enhance those resources in the post-restoration target community. Resource value to pollinators should be considered when prioritizing control of multiple invaders at a site. Comparison with adjacent plant communities and with less disturbed reference sites can help guide selection of functionally and phenologically diverse plant species for restoration. This approach will enhance the value of the site for pollinators and maximize the ecosystem services they provide.

1:30pm — Seed is a Critical Natural Resource: Managing the Seed Resources of the Mid-Atlantic
Ed Toth, Director of New York City’s Greenbelt Native Plant Center— Seed banking is a highly useful ex situ plant conservation tool that, when effectively employed can greatly increase the effectiveness of land management, restoration and critical in situ conservation activities. The Mid Atlantic Regional Seed Bank (MARS-B) was established in 2012 to meet both the needs for a national seed banking program aimed at conserving the flora of the entire US, and to meet the needs of the conservation community in the region for appropriately sourced seed. Director Ed Toth will delve into the rationale for and the history of seed selection and banking and will describe the goals and activities of MARS-B and Seeds of Success.

2:00pm — Coaxing Native Meadow Out of the Weeds: Maybe It’s More About “Process” than “Result”
Chris Bright, President of the Earth Sangha— The Earth Sangha is a nonprofit environmental organization that operates an ecological restoration program for public lands in the Washington, D.C .area. At its heart is a “Wild Plant Nursery,” where staff and volunteers grow about 250 native plant species, all from seed collected directly from local, wild populations. The nursery supplies the Sangha’s own restoration projects, as well as the projects of public-agency partners. In 2010, the Sangha began working on meadow restoration. Propagating more meadow species at the nursery proved to be the easy part of this effort. The hard part, not surprisingly, was coping with the weeds, especially on large sites of 10 acres or more. Chris will describe the Sangha’s struggle to build a volunteer-based meadow restoration effort, and provide a tour of the Sangha’s failures and successes to date. He will explain why he has come to see this type of work as more a matter long-term engagement, and less a matter of “installing” a supposedly static result.

2:30pm — Summary Comments and Question & Answer Session

3:15pm — Adjourn


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The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.