Invasive Species Program

April 23 – September 24 | Second Tuesday | 10 am-Noon   *   Fourth Tuesday | 6 pm – 8 pm

Help treat and remove a variety of invasive plant species at Cartier Park. A discussion to identify these plants will take place before we begin. AFFEW partners with the City of Ludington, Mason-Lake Conservation District and North Country CISMA to remove/treat these aggressive plants. Below is more information on some of the challenging invasive plants at Cartier Park.

Check the schedule on our Events and Activities page for dates we’ll be meeting. Meet at the Ludington Central Bark Park at the end of Rath Ave. Bring water, gloves and wear long pants, long sleeved shirt and closed toed shoes. Event will be held in fair weather, and sometimes wraps up early, depending on site conditions. Please note: both September events will be at 10 am.  To be added to our email list to receive reminders about upcoming events and cancellations due to weather, contact Sara Bolan at sarab@affew.org or by phone 815-592-9032.

Unfortunately some of these invasive species can still be bought at nurseries and big box stores. When considering plants for your property choose native species over invasive.  Once an invasive plant escapes into a natural area it can cause significant issues for native plants and wildlife. This includes altering soil chemistry in a way that gives future generations of invasive plants a competitive advantage.


Below is information compiled by Dave Dister, local botanist and author of The Birds of Mason County, Michigan, regarding invasive species he has identified at Cartier Park and his extensive research on the “Vascular Flora of Ludington State Park”. He’s also provided additional resources you may find interesting.

Michigan Flora On-Line ( Michigan Flora ) [note that distribution maps by county don’t distinguish between native plants and escapes from cultivation, though species accounts may comment on that]
 
A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan (Joshua G. Cohen, Michael A. Kost, Bradford S. Slaughter, & Dennis A. Albert), MNFI, Michigan State University Press, 2015
 
Native American Medicinal Plants, An Ethnobotanical Dictionary, Daniel E. Moerman, Timber Press, 2009

Learn more about invasive species and how to report them on North Country CISMA‘s website. View their High Priority Species  page for more information on identify invasive plant species in Michigan.

Invasive Species Identification & Control Presentation

Oriental Bittersweet

Have you ever wondered why certain plants in your yard keep coming back even after they’ve been removed multiple times? Most likely it’s one of the many invasive plant species found in our area. Vicki Sawicki, Program Coordinator for North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (NCCISMA) will share her knowledge about some of the aggressive invasive plants in the Ludington area and how they can be controlled. The main focus will be on Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Knotweed and Tree of Heaven. Vicki has been working in invasive species since her master’s thesis on purple loosestrife, completed in 1998 at Binghamton University in New York. She worked in invasive species control and habitat restoration for the U.S. Forest Service in Baldwin, before becoming the coordinator for North Country CISMA.

NEW DATE! Invasive Plant Identification Walking Tour

The North Country CISMA and AFFEW will host a walking tour in Cartier Park led by Dave Dister. He’ll focus on identification of invasive plant species, recommended treatment methods and the benefits to native plant species. Participants will be able to partake in hands-on identification of plants and view past treatment areas. Information will be distributed to all in attendance. Please bring a mask and plan on maintaining an appropriate distance from others on the tour.  Meet at the dog park by at the end of Rath Ave. Event will be held in fair weather, and sometimes wraps up early, depending on site conditions.

Invasive Plant Walking Tour

The North Country CISMA and AFFEW will host a walking tour in Cartier Park, and focus on identification of invasive plant species, recommended treatment methods and the benefits to native plant species. Participants will be able to partake in hands-on identification of plants, view past treatment areas and a native wildflower demonstration garden. Please bring a mask and plan on maintaining an appropriate distance from others on the tour. Those interested in joining are invited to bring a bag lunch and stick around after the walk for a dispersed picnic lunch (likely on the lawn around the gazebo!) and further discussion on invasives. Meet at the dog park by at the end of Rath Ave. Event will be held in fair weather, and sometimes wraps up early, depending on site conditions.