Volunteers are needed in Waupaca County for an initiative designed to combat the spread of purple loosestrife, an invasive plant that is taking over wetlands across that county and many other regions.
Invasive species experts are coordinating efforts with local citizens to promote the development of a type of beetle that eats purple loosestrife, according to Kaycie Stushek, an invasive species specialist at Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council.
Statewide, this project is a Department of Natural Resources initiative. In the Waupaca County area, it is being spearheaded by Golden Sands RC&D, Friends of the Little Wolf Headwaters, Rawhide Boys Ranch, DNR, UW Extension and the Waupaca County Land and Water Conservation Department.
The project needs volunteers to help develop the beetle population. All materials and easy-to-follow instructions are provided. Coordinators of the project provide volunteers with a small kiddy pool with habitat for the beetles. Later, they add mating pairs of beetles.
Volunteers will keep the habitat moist, and watch for the young beetles to hatch. When the time comes to relocate the beetles, volunteers can help disperse the beetles to a stand of purple loosestrife.
Volunteers need to sign up by April 17. There is no cost. Roots will be provided April 19, mating pairs of beetles in late May, and relocation in July.
Those interested in helping should contact Jim Hlaban at 920-244-7456 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Kaycie Stushek at 715-343-6278 or email@example.com; or Brian Haase, Waupaca County conservationist, at 715-258-6482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.