2012 Alaska Weed Smackdowns: Fun Community Events to Control Non-Native, Invasive Plants!
In conjunction with Alaska Invasive Weed Awareness Week in 2010, Alaska’s first Weed Smackdown event was structured to help contain the spread of non-native, invasive plants and educate/involve local residents in Fairbanks. Since then, awareness of the problem and the number of events have grown, with four Weed Smackdown events scheduled for 2012. Each offers a fun, friendly competition among teams comprised of members from community organizations, businesses, and unaffiliated individuals who all have one thing in common: the desire to spare Alaska the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species. Participants will not only enjoy fresh air, exercise, fun, free food, and fabulous prizes, but will also help control or eradicate these weed invaders. The introduction and spread of invasive species can cause economic and environmental harm, and harm to human health. Invasive plants spread aggressively and out-compete natives for growing space. Some plants (including European bird cherry, reed canarygrass, and white sweetclover) can harm native wildlife, while others (such as Canada thistle and giant hogweed) can harm people with thorns and cause painful rashes. Aquatic invasive species, like Elodea (a genus of waterweed that can overtake lakes and slow moving rivers and sloughs) have been shown to harm salmon and their habitat. Unfortunately, some of the major cities in Alaska have provided “base camps” for invasive species that are poised to spread across the state and damage Alaska’s valuable natural resources. You can help prevent the spread of invasives by attending one of the 2012 Weed Smackdown Events! 2012 Alaska Weed Smackdown Events: Anchorage: Saturday, June 16 from 10am-1pm @ Valley of the Moon Park Contact (907) 441-7366 or visit email@example.com; register at: www.weedwar.org Kenai Peninsula (Seward): Saturday, June 30 from 11am-1pm @ Seward Middle School Contact Cheryl Anderson: (907) 260-0129 / Cheryl_Anderson@fws.gov or Jen Kain: firstname.lastname@example.org Palmer: Saturday, July 7 from 11:30am-4:00pm @ Matanuska River Park Contact Louisa Branchflower: (907) 745-1636 or email@example.com Fairbanks: Saturday, July 14 from 10am-1pm @ Tanana Lakes Recreation Area Contact Darcy Etcheverry: (907) 479-1213 (x104) / FCWMA.firstname.lastname@example.org; register at: weedsmackdown.wordpress.com Sponsors and partners include: Alaska Association of Conservation Districts, Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Citizens Against Noxious Weeds Invading the North (Alaska CANWIN), Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Division of Agriculture, Alaska Railroad, Alaska SeaLife Center, Alaska Wildland Adventures, Anchorage Cooperative Weed Management Area, Anchorage Park Foundation, Anchorage Waterways Council, ConocoPhillips, Denali Outdoor Center, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District, Major Marine Tours, Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Palmer Soil and Water Conservation District, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, UAA Alaska Natural Heritage Program, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and others. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq
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