As part of the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (WMCISMA), the Allegan Conservation District and the residents we serve will soon begin to benefit from the awarding of a DNR Invasive Species Grant Program award of $343,900.
The WMCISMA is a collaborative of a number of organizations from 8 counties with the sole purpose of teaming up to find cost and time effective ways of managing invasive species throughout Allegan, Ottawa, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Muskegon, Kent, and Montcalm counties.
The funding awarded to the WMCISMA will result in the creation of “strike teams” to assist private and public landowners with invasive species identification, education, and on-the-ground management of species of concerns. Three of the primary plant species the WMCISMA will be targeting are phragmites (common reed), Japanese knotweed, and black and pale swallow-wort. Each of these species can cause significant ecological damage by disrupting natural environmental processes and displacing native vegetation which provide food and shelter to animal populations and host beneficial insects. The WMCISMA will also conduct a series of workshops in every service county aimed at educating landowners on how to successfully identify, map, and manage invasive plant species on their property.
Stay tuned to learn more about upcoming activities taking place as a result of this grant award. A big thank you goes out to Becky Huttenga (Executive Director of the Ottawa Conservation District), Melanie Manion (Natural Resources Management Supervisor for the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission), and everyone else that was involved in the development of the grant application! And of course, thank you to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the grant award!
For more information about all the projects awarded funding by this grant, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website.