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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in partnership with the Indiana Coastal Invasive Plant Network, will be premiering a new opportunity to adopt trails and help keep invasive species from eroding park biodiversity at a Hands-On Training Event, Saturday, June 11 from9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. The event will be held at the national lakeshore's Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education, 100 N Lake Street, Gary, IN and outside at the Miller Woods unit.
Early detection and control efforts can be one of the most effective ways of keeping invasive species from gaining a foothold in the National Park as well as other managed natural areas in Northwest Indiana. During the event, participants will learn about invaders Northwest Indiana natural area managers are most concerned about, and habitats where they can be found. They will also be trained on how to report species found to www.eddmaps.org/Indiana or via a smartphone using the free Great Lakes Early Detection Network application. All attendees will receive a free set of laminated cards that can be used for species identification in the field. Participants will also learn about all of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Trails that can be adopted, and what is required of volunteers involved in that effort.
The Indiana Coastal Invasive Plant Network was recently launched to help call public attention to the area invasive species and their impacts on the natural world. Organizations involved include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Dunes, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve and the Wildlife Habitat Council.
Early detection efforts are important to natural area managers for several reasons. Understanding where species are being found allows control needs and strategies to be prioritized while populations are still small. When infestations get larger, control efforts become more difficult and costlier. Reviewing nearby reports also helps natural area managers know what is coming at them from nearby.
Funding for this program was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program, as well as the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and ArcelorMittal.
If you have one, be sure to bring your smartphone. To RSVP or for further information, contact Susan MiHalo at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 6, 2016. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, call 219-395-1882 or check the park's website at www.nps.gov/indu.