· $ First the money: I’m happy to say Wells Fargo NFWF selected The Nature Conservancy grant proposal, “Combating Invasives with Community Volunteers and Education,” for funding to support work in the Heartland and Ocseola CISMAs! This will help with some volunteer workdays, workshops, a Pet Amnesty Day and, what I’ve been looking to fund for some time now, new EDRR weed decks. We’ll talk more about the details when we next meet (which you’ll hear about soon) or contact me if you’re interested in knowing more before then.
· Then the job: There is a new opening for a part-time, permanent field position that is responsible for controlling invasive plant infestations and related land management activities on Bok Tower Garden conservation lands. It’s open until filled, so if you’re interested, don’t wait. More information: http://boktowergardens.org/get-involved/job-opportunities/vegetation-management-technician/
· Bad plant: If you were at the annual workshop, you heard about Praxelis clematidea (http://www.floridainvasives.org/Heartland/6_Update%20of%20Praxelis%20clematideam,%20a%20New%20Exotic%20in%20Florida_KWilliges_FFWCC.pdf) . Mid-May, Debi Stone found some at Disney Wilderness Preserve in northern Polk/Osceola counties, checking with Kent Williges and saying, Thank you for giving your talk earlier this year; if I hadn’t had that information in my head, I would’ve walked right by it for who knows how long.” Today, Charles Cook relayed that Jack Jordan identified another population southwest of Bartow on 555 north of 640, saying, “Praxelis is herbaceous, spreads by seed to make stands, and right now is about 1-2 ft tall and blooming purplish-blue (and beginning to seed).” The stem also smells like cat urine when crushed. Keep an eye for it, report it, and hand-pull (if small enough patch) or treat with a few rounds of glyphosate herbicide. It’s been likened to natal grass in that it’s easy to kill by spraying but is a prolific seeder, so don’t wait! Check out the link to Kent’s talk for photos and more information.
· Good beetle: Always end on good note, right? This week Jennifer Heller and Tom Sheahan of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest released the air potato beetle (Lirioceris cheni), a biocontrol which has had good success and which we’ll be releasing as a Heartland CISMA project on several properties soon. They let me tag along to check on the logistics. Attached are a couple of photos, one Jennifer took of this charismatic beetle and one of Jennifer putting them out to do their work. We look forward to hearing about any of your introductions out there and if you’re interested in joining our CISMA release of air potato beetles, it’s not too late but get in touch soon! And thanks, Jennifer and Tom!
· Remember, check on what’s new and add your stories: @HeartlandCISMA and on FB at HeartlandCISMA. Thanks, Brendan!
The Nature Conservancy