New campaign targets pests wiping out native tree species
INDIANAPOLIS—The campaign lends itself to winks and jest ("Your ash is in trouble;" "Prepare to kiss your ash goodbye.") But advocates are quite serious about fighting the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it first came to the U.S. in 2002. As of March 2017, EAB has been documented in all 92 counties in Indiana. Without aggressive action, experts say, 95% of all Indiana ash trees will be lost within 10 years.
The Save our Ash Trees campaign calls on Hoosiers to help treat species that once composed 15-20% of our Indiana forests. The campaign is a joint effort of the Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' divisions of State Parks and Nature Preserves.
“$200 can treat an ash tree for up to three years,” said Indiana Parks Alliance president Tom Hohman. “Any contribution helps, and 100% of every donation supports the Save our Ash Trees program. Ash trees are native Indiana trees that play a critical role in our woodlands.” The campaign’s goal is to raise $20,000 to treat 100 mature, seed-producing ash trees in Indiana state parks and nature preserves. Individuals or organizations wishing to help or get more information can visit the IPA website(http://indianaparksalliance.org/) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/indianaparksalliance/).
What is an emerald ash borer?
The emerald ash borer is an exotic beetle, originally from Asia, that was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and in Indiana in 2004. This invasive insect is 1/3 inch in length and bright, metallic green in color. The adult lays eggs only in ash trees. Emerald ash borers in the U.S. have no predators during their larval stage.
How do they kill ash trees?
Larvae feed on the inner bark of the tree, creating tunnels that circle the trunk and cut off the flow of water and nutrients from roots to leaves. Leaves in the top third of the tree die first, and then the damage moves down to lower branches.
Why should we care?
Ash trees make up 10-20% of the diversity of tree species in our Hoosier forests, totaling about 147 million trees. Another two million grace city parks, residential lawns and street plantings. Ash wood is used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, hockey and lacrosse sticks, baseball bats, urban street plantings, and Native American traditional baskets, pipe stems, flutes and medicinal remedies.
To maintain a remnant population of ash trees in Indiana, we must save mature, seed-producing specimens to create a future seed source of EAB-resistant ash trees. These trees are native species to our Indiana forests and the introduction of EAB is a man-made disaster, not a natural one. It is up to us to preserve these native species so they may repopulate after the killing wave of EAB has passed.
The chestnut blight of the late 19th century and the Dutch elm disease in the mid-20th century virtually eliminated those two species from our woodlands and streetscapes. We have the opportunity to keep that from happening again with our native ashes.
What’s the treatment?
A special insecticide is injected into holes drilled near ground level and kills emerald ash borers as it’s drawn upward. The insecticide used in this program (Emamectin benzoate) is safe for pollinators like honey bees (not a neonicotinoid). Save our Ash Trees! will focus on areas of the state that have not already been decimated by the emerald ash borer.
How bad is the problem?
Millions of mature ash trees have already been killed in Indiana, and the mortality rate is expected to hit 95% in the next decade. Projected economic losses to urban forests are estimated to be $10-20 billion. The U.S. Forest Service projects that all eight billion ash trees in American forests will die off unless protected against the emerald ash borer.
About the Indiana Parks Alliance
The Indiana Parks Alliance is a charitable organization that supports Indiana State Parks and state-owned Nature Preserves, the resources they steward, and the people they serve through education, advocacy, promotion, fundraising and assistance for local friends groups.
We Need Your Help!
The Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks have some needed projects planned and we need your help. We can’t do them without you!
16 September 2017
Morning – Trash pick-up via canoe along Sugar Creek from the Narrow’s Bridge to Cox Ford Bridge. We need more volunteers to fill the canoes donated by Turkey Run Canoes.This is less than two weeks away.
Please contact Alan Bruner, Chair of Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks, as soon as possible if you can help and enjoy a day on the creek. 765-562-2741 or email@example.com
Afternoon – Invasives eradication and miscellaneous clean-up projects. Up to 60 volunteers from Circle K International, a college organization, have offered their services, but we need some experienced Friends members to assist in heading up small groups to cover areas in need of invasive removal/clean-up in both Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks.
Please contact Aaron Douglas, head Interpretive Naturalist at Turkey Run as soon as possible if you can assist. 765-597-2654 or ADouglass@dnr.IN.gov
30 September 2017
National Public Lands Day – 10 am to 1:00 pm. Volunteers needs for eradication/clean-up projects. Participants will meet at the Turkey Run Nature Center to be assigned areas for invasive eradication/clean-up.
Please consider participating in one or more of these projects.
***18 November 2017
On the “fun” side we have scheduled a field trip for 18 November 2017. This will be a full day trip and we will go to the Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands property in Newton County to see the herd of American Bison released on the restored prairie there, followed by a visit to Jasper-Pulaski FWA to admire the thousands of Sandhill Cranes that stage there annually before heading further south for the winter. So set the date. We hope you can join us for this!
Thank you for your continued support of the Friends. We appreciate all you contribute whether it be monetarily or physically.
If you have any questions please let me know.
Alan W. Bruner
The blacksmith workshop on June 22 & 23, 2017 went very well! Friday was held at Turkey Run and Saturday was held at Parke County fairgrounds due to rain.
Happy Spring Gardeners, we have a new wonderful fence around the garden. Come and admire it on our first gardening day of this 2017 season. We will have soil and plot prep, plus some unwanted growth that (weeds) are beginning to grow. Due to the fence reconstruction, the perimeter preparation will need a little more raking and may need some digging done. Bring gardening tools with you or use the ones we will have provided . Hope to see many of you next Wednesday April 5 at 10:00 AM. There may be rain, so if it is raining we will not meet.
Beata St. Clair
April 1, 2017
Hurrah, Hurrah! We have a new garden fence around the Lusk Heritage Demonstration Garden . It was a couple of years ago that Ray expressed interest in planning and figuring out what materials we would need and what it would entail to replace the fence. Thanks so much for keeping with it. Then Chris endorsed the project and helped keep it moving . Last autumn volunteers of the park and master gardeners got together and dismantled the fence. Special thanks to all participants and Greg and Mike who hauled off the majority of the removed old fencing materials. ( Some of which was used to made items the park could sell for extra funds) Dan took sample of the pickets and with material provided by Dave, cut all new pickets as designated by Ray’s plans. It sounds as if guys did most of the work. Not true, there were lots of women volunteers out there working too. The next phase would be reconstruction. The weather had much to do with this step. Some park workers removed the rotten post and replaced them last week. Then,also Finally last week end Boy Scout Troop 311 from Vigo County, under the direction of Scout project Leader Phillip Jackson and help from Dave and Ray , plus a number of volunteer helpers reconstructed the new and improved fence with a ground level rabbit barrier. It is a dream come true. Thanks to all helpers and providers of moral support. Stop by and see it any time dawn to dusk. Beata St.Clair
Hello Gardeners, 2017
The Lusk Garden at Turkey Run State Park has had some beginnings already. The planning volunteers met in Feb and planned the formation of the plots and vegetables, herbs and a few flowers we would be planting this year. The garden is being mapped out and printed by one of our state park naturalists. The plants chosen are of a heritage era that would have been available and grown by the Lusk family in their kitchen garden. The heritage seeds were ordered from an organic source. They came last week and one of our volunteers with a green house will start the seedlings that need a little more attention in their beginning growth. A couple other of our volunteers have already been up to the garden site and tilled and raked the plots during the warm spell we had. So there has been quite a lot of pre gardening activity. The next big happening will be the construction of the garden fence by a Boy Scout Troop . They have plans to construct it by the end of March, if the weather cooperates. The participation of gardening activities will most likely begin in April or when the weather becomes warmer again. We know rushing Mother Nature is never a good idea. Hope many of you will be able to participate this season. See you all later.
Beata St. Clair
Golden Eagles at Lake Waveland. Pictures taken by Jay Pint. To see more of his work visit his website http://jaypintphotography.com
COOKOUT AND TIMBERDOODLING-18 MARCH
The Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks will have their 3rd annual Timberdoodle outing on 18 March at Shades St. Park to hear and see American Woodcocks perform their spring courtship ritual. The birds have cooperated quite well the past two years, even landing almost at our feet.
These birds can be heard at dusk and dawn in late winter through mid-spring giving their “peent” calls prior to rising into the air in twittering flight, circling, and returning to their starting point. They are classified with shorebirds but are usually seen away from lakes and ponds, nesting in damp woodlands such as occur near the entrance to Shades St. Park where they probe the soil for earthworms and such with their long, flexible-tipped bill. They are very difficult to see as their cryptic plumage is perfect camouflage for living on the ground among leaf litter and debris. Due to their crepuscular habits, their eyes are proportionately large and are set closer to the back of the head than the front, allowing them almost 180-degree field of vision on each side to watch for predators while probing their bill three-four inches in the ground. When caught in the open or drawing attention from young they do what is called a “swivel walk” involving taking a step then swaying the entire body forward and back, taking a second step, swaying, and repeating until out of danger.
All activities will begin and end at the Pine Shelter parking lot just north of the gatehouse.
4:00 p.m. – Trail cleanup or leisurely hike.
6:00 p.m. – Weiner Roast – join us for hot dogs and more.
7:00 p.m. – check out progress of nesting Bald Eagles up the road at Lake Waveland or look for owls in
c. 8:00 p.m. – Timberdoodling – we will position ourselves in the middle of the courting grounds
where the American Woodcock begin courting at sunset.
Be prepared for cold or wet conditions with proper footwear and clothing.
We look forward to spending an evening with you. We hope you will join us for what has been a very enjoyable experience.
In order to help us prepare food and to allow us to notify you if the weather causes us to cancel the event, please let us know if you plan to attend. But don’t stay home if you forget to notify us!
Alan W. Bruner – Chair, Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks. firstname.lastname@example.org (765-562-2741).