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Out of Control: Chemical-free Strategies for Invasive Plant Control

July 29, 2015 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT

$30 - $40

Bittersweet Choking Tree CR


Invasive non-native plant species surround us: along roadsides, deep in forests, and in our own backyards. After decades using synthetic herbicides to control invasives, the invasive species remain out of control and growing environmental concerns are driving landscape professionals and the public to consider alternative control methods. Join the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) at the Garden in the Woods for an afternoon workshop to explore chemical-free options for invasive species control.This workshop will feature six concise and information-packed presentations plus a powerhouse panel discussion.

Recertification CEUs are being sought for this program.
– Landscape Architect Continuing Education System (LA CES) 4 credits approved.
– NOFA AOLCP 4 credits approved.MCH Logo SM
– MA Association of Landscape Professionals 2 MCLP Credits approved
– Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association – MCH credits requested

  •   Chemical-free Riparian Restoration
    Ellen Snyder, Mike Bald, and Gerry Hawkes collaborated on the Oyster River Forest conservation project. It was restored through a partnership of federal, state, and local entities to protect 4,600 feet along the Oyster River, a tributary to the Great Bay EsInvasive Shrub Removal - Oyster River Projecttuary; water quality for fish, wildlife, and public drinking water; the nationally recognized Spruce Hole Bog; Appalachian oak-pine forest; and a 25-acre old field for New England cottontail. The field and riparian areas were heavily infested with large invasive shrubs and a 2.5-acre stand of wild parsnip. A key funding partner—the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)—originally planned to hire contractors to spray the invasives with herbicide then re-plant with native shrubs. As a consultant working on the project for the Town of Durham, Ellen Snyder, brought in consultants Mike Bald and Gerry Hawkes, and convinced NRCS to use only mechanical methods to remove the invasive plants. This presentation will highlight the chemical-free options used to control the invasive plants species.
  • Autumn Olive -- Elaeagnus umbellateComparing Control Options
    Jess Toro from Native Habitat Restoration has many years of experience controlling invasive plant species. Jess will share her experience with various mechanical, organic, and biological options and will discuss what works and what doesn’t. Native Habitat Restoration specializes in identifying and removing invasive plant species from wetlands, woodlands, meadows, river areas, and rare habitats in order to return these settings to a more natural and balanced ecological state. Jess was also involved in the original project that released purple loosestrife beetles and will share information about that project’s status.
  • Invasive Work Day Ellen Snyder CRMobilizing Volunteers for Invasive Plant Removal
    Malin Ely Clyde is a Project Manager for The Stewardship Network: New England – an organization that organizes volunteers to care for and study lands and waters. Conservation organizations and towns post nature-based volunteer workdays and trainings on the calendar at NewEngland.StewardshipNetwork.org. Volunteers are recruited for the annual Garlic Mustard Challenge and other invasive plant control efforts. Malin will share ideas for how to work with volunteers and how to maximize their potential.
  • Porcelain Berry at Oyster Shell Park CTInvasive Species Management Realities
    Michael Talbot develops Invasive Species Management Plans and does invasive plant management using mechanical methods whenever it is effective and fits within the budget. When mechanical methods are not viable, Michael employs a full range of management tools—including chemical. Michael will share his experience and explain how certain species are very difficult to manage by mechanical means only.
  • “Goatscaping” – A 4-Legged Approach to Invasive Control
    It’s easy to see that our landscapes are becoming overrun with invasive species. When it Goatscaping Invasive Removalcomes to clearing unwanted vegetation, goats can provide a cost-effective alternative to machines and herbicides. They graze in places that are challenging for man and machines and willingly eat a wide range of invasive plant species including Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Knotweed, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Honeysuckle, Mile-A-Minute, and more. Elaine Philbrick is the co-owner of the Goatscaping Company, Plympton, MA. She will discuss the advantages as well as the challenges related to “goatscaping” for invasive plant management.
  • Multiflora Rose-1Chemical-free Controls – Ask the Experts
    Our six panelists come together to compare notes on the state of chemical-free controls and to answer your questions.
    Panelists: Mike Bald, Malin Clyde, Gerry Hawkes, Elaine Philbrick, Ellen Snyder, Michael Talbot, and Jess Toro.

Panelist Profiles

  • Mike Bald has worked with invasive species since 2003 and founded his company, Got Weeds? in early 2011. Offering non-chemical weed management options to landowners in much of Vermont and New Hampshire, Mike’s focus is on long-term site stewardship, soil health, native plant diversity, and education of landowners.  Cooperation across multiple ownerships is also crucial to the control effort. Got Weeds? has come to specialize in “the danger plants” and the technique of solarizing.  Species commonly addressed include the non-native shrubs, black swallow-wort, wild parsnip, and Japanese knotweed.  Mike appreciates the importance of healthy habitats, site specificity and ecosystem resilience; his goal with the treatment programs at Got Weeds? is to demonstrate with careful documentation that manual / mechanical methods can succeed over extended timeframes.
  • Malin Ely Clyde is an Extension Specialist in Community Volunteers at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and the project manager for the Stewardship Network: New England. She has a B.A. From Yale University and a B.S. From the University of Washington College of Forest Resources. She has been working with natural resource volunteers for over 20 years, helping to train, motivate, and inspire volunteers to conserve and care for the lands and waters in their communities.
  • Gerry Hawkes came from a family background of farming and forestry in Vermont and has gone on to serve as a forester in the Peace Corps then provide forestry, environmental and appropriate technology consulting in Africa, Asia and North America while establishing a home, family and businesses in Vermont. His goal is to lessen human impact on the environment through improved practices and technology has led him to become a full time inventor and an initiator of small businesses formed around those inventions. One of those businesses is Forest Savers LLC, which employs specially developed equipment to uproot, shred and flame invasive shrubs and other unwanted vegetation without the use of herbicides. He is seeking to leverage the positive impacts of his current and future inventions by cooperating with others who can assist in getting appropriate technology solutions out to end users.
  • Ellen Snyder is the owner of Ibis Wildlife Consulting, specializing in habitat management, conservation planning, and nature writing. Invasive plant issues are a common theme in land stewardship plans written for public and private landowners.
  • Michael Talbot is the co-owner of Talbot Ecological Land Care, a Cape Cod firm that specializes in Ecological Design, Restoration, and Tree, Shrub and Lawn Care Services. Michael is a certified arborist, a Mass. Certified Horticulturist, a landscape designer, and a restoration ecologist. He holds a certificate in Invasive Species Management from the Univ. of Massachusetts. He specializes in developing, applying and teaching environmentally sensitive approaches to designing and restoring landscapes and to managing trees, shrubs, and lawns. He is the author of many articles on a wide range of horticultural and conservation topics. He was a co-founder of ELA and the principal author of ELA’s publication on professional ecological turf management. Michael is on the Advisory Board of the Rachel Carson Council and is on the Board of the Mashpee Environmental Coalition.
  • Jessica Murray Toro Jess Toro is co-owner of Native Habitat Restoration. She has worked with invasive species and ecological restoration for 20 years and has applied this knowledge to sites around the world. She works with private, conservation and local, state and federal agencies to establish goals for natural areas and match invasive plant control activities to the goals and wishes of the landowners. Her company offers a wide variety of options for invasive plant control including manual, mechanical, chemical (organic and non-organic options), propane torching, and biocontrol releases. She has experience with prescribed grazing in wetland restoration efforts focusing on federally listed species habitat. She will describe how to set invasive species management goals, match the goals to effective control strategies and describe the what works and doesn’t for different options. Jess can be reached at nativehabitatrestoration@gmail.com.


July 29, 2015
1:00 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT
$30 - $40
Event Category:


Penny Lewis


Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, MA 01701 United States
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