State Park Stewardship Tidbits, May 2013

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share

Michigan Department of Natural Resources facebook twitter youtube email signup spacer

State Park Stewardship Tidbits, May 2013

Hi all,

I hope you are enjoying the recent weather we’ve been having; I know the plants in my yard are really enjoying all this rain! May was a great month for pulling garlic mustard and in the first half of June we’ll be focused on finishing up pulling this plant at many of our sites. We hope you can join us!


Summer is right around the corner so we’ll be switching to controlling other invasive plants. All activities benefit from many hands, so we hope you can join in the fun. Please be sure to double check the start and end times for the workday since I’ve deviated a bit from the normal pattern of the past. I’ve planned most Sunday workdays to start in the morning (to avoid the hottest part of the day) and have even started some workdays at 9 a.m..


I hope you enjoy the following tidbits,


1) Summer Stewardship Workday Calendar – Now Posted!

2) Summer Individual Volunteer Projects

3) Giant Hogweed: Appearing In Mid Michigan - WARNING,Toxic Plant!

4) New scientific studies reveal Midwestern frogs decline, mammal populations altered by invasive plant
5) “Go Beyond Beauty” – a program to remove highly invasive plant from sale at local nurseries

6) Ohio Invasive Plants Council – Invasive plant factsheets





1) Summer Stewardship Workday Calendar – Now Posted!

Visit our Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays for a list of upcoming workdays! The July through September workdays are now posted! Join us this summer as we hand pull spotted knapweed and other herbaceous invasive plants and cut and herbicide invasive shrubs in our state parks and recreation areas to protect and restore high quality natural areas.


Regardless of the activity, we really need all the hands we can get to help restore our special natural resources!



2) Summer Individual Volunteer Projects:

We may be looking for volunteers to work individually on the following summertime projects (depending on priorities and returning volunteer availability).  If you are interested in helping independently on any of the following projects, please let me know.

        Spotted Knapweed Control (mid-June through August):
We have small crews of individual volunteers at Waterloo, Island Lake, Brighton, and Pinckney Recreation Areas, but we can always put more hands to good use!  We’re hoping to have individual volunteers continue removing known patches of spotted knapweed and possibly expand their range to adjacent areas.  We have at least one workday planned at each of the above mentioned parks.  We need volunteers to attend the workdays and then go back to those spots on their own a few weeks later to pull any spotted knapweed that was missed. 

        Galerucella Beetle Monitoring (late June – August):
Help us monitor how Galerucella beetle populations are doing in areas where we’ve released them in the past.  Are beetles still there?  Are there enough beetles or is the purple loosestrife still flowering profusely?  This monitoring will help us plan if beetle releases are needed for 2014 to control invasive purple loosestrife!  You will travel to wetlands within the state parks and recreation areas so water-proof footwear will be needed.

        Insect Sweep-netting for spittlebugs and leafhoppers (mid- July – mid September):
You will sweep a net back and forth vigorously while walking through native prairie remnants and then collect the insects in your net for identification by an expert. We hope to find rare native insects, especially the red-legged spittlebug and rare leafhoppers.  Sweep-netting must be done between mid-July and early September when insects are active.

        Photo-monitoring (July – October):
Photographic monitoring (photo-monitoring) is a common technique used to track changes in vegetation structure and composition over time.  The basic photo-monitoring process involves taking repeat photographs from the exact same point in exactly the same way (i.e., keeping all other variables – height, azimuth, season, time of day, etc. – constant from photo to photo) year after year.  Photo-points are strategically located in positions where vegetation changes due to management can be tracked.  By comparing pre- and post-management photographs, we can assess whether management is progressing in the desired direction.

We need volunteers with a sense of adventure and exacting standards to relocate established photo-points using a GPS unit and then take photos in an exact manner to set specifications.  We hope that volunteers will be able to make a multiple year commitment to this project since the first year requires training and overcoming the learning curve to participate.

If you’re interested in helping independently on any of these projects, please let me know soon so I can send you more information as it is put together.  For more information on individual volunteer projects visit our Volunteer Steward Program webpage (near the bottom).  Volunteer Position Descriptions will hopefully be posted soon for most of these summertime activities.

3) Giant Hogweed: Appearing In Mid Michigan - WARNING,Toxic Plant!

Toxic Weed Appearing In Mid Michigan

This is a pest that we can “nip in the bud".

Very Important; anyone living in Michigan! Is this weed growing in your yard?

Highly toxic giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) plants are popping up around Lansing and Jackson area:

More information at:,4610,7-125-1568_2390_34686---,00.html

Another plant with toxic sap to keep a lookout for is Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa):






4) New scientific studies reveal Midwestern frogs decline, mammal populations altered by invasive plant

Researchers at Lincoln Park Zoo and Northern Illinois University have discovered a new culprit contributing to amphibian decline and altered mammal distribution throughout the Midwest region - the invasive plant European buckthorn. This non-native shrub, which has invaded two-thirds of the United States, has long been known to negatively impact plant community composition and forest structure, but these two innovative studies slated to publish in upcoming editions of the Journal of Herpetology and Natural Areas Journal demonstrate how this shrub negatively impacts native amphibians and affects habitat use by mammals including increased prevalence of coyotes and other carnivores.

5) “Go Beyond Beauty” – a program to remove highly invasive plant from sale at local nurseries

The Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network successfully obtained agreement from local nurseries to remove high priority invasive plants from sales, through a program we're calling "Go Beyond Beauty." "High priority" means our region's Top 20 and early detection species, including J. barberry and other contested species.

If you're interested, you're welcome to check out <> and click on "Go Beyond Beauty" to learn more.

Wishing you all the best of success this season!

Matthew Bertrand

*Matthew Bertrand*
Invasive Species Specialist
Grand Traverse Conservation District
1450 Cass Rd., Traverse City, MI 49685
231.941.0960 x18

6) Ohio Invasive Plants Council – Invasive plant factsheets

The Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC) has posted on our website,<>, the new factsheets on some of the most problematic invasive plant species in Ohio. Jennifer Windus coordinated the effort to update these factsheets with the latest information, including best practices in management/control for each, new distribution maps, etc.. Funding for the printing of hard copies of booklets of these 18 factsheets came from an Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) grant from the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Thanks to Cheryl Coon, previous President of the OIPC Board, for writing the proposal for that grant.

The Ohio DEP OEEF grant also paid for printing of new OIPC brochures and posters. These can also be downloaded from<>.
Links to the factsheets and a 2 page summary of invasive plant concerns in Ohio are on our homepage. For links to the brochure and poster click on Resources and then 'Ohio and OIPC material.'
If anyone needs copies of the brochure, which is a 2-sided trifold, to distribute to a constituent group or at a workshop or similar event, please e-mail me with the specifics.

Dave Gorchov
OIPC Board President<>
Dept. of Botany
Miami University

Laurel Malvitz-Draper

Natural Resource Steward

Stewardship Unit, Parks and Recreation Division

Michigan Department of Natural Resources




phone: 248-359-9057

fax: 248-355-2669


I am generally in the office Wednesday through Friday.

I am generally in the parks Saturday and Sunday.

I will respond to your email as soon as I'm back in the office.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. "

-Margaret Mead


***The Recreation Passport is your $11 ticket to Michigan's state parks and outdoor adventures! Check "YES" when you renew your license plate. Where can $11 take you? ***