Creating Capacity to Confront Invasive Plants as Barriers to Economic Productivity and Environmental Sustainability

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2005: $75,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Tom Redfern
Rural Action

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: parasite control
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, workshop
  • Pest Management: prevention


    Creating Capacity to Confront Invasive Plants as Barriers to Economic Productivity & Environmental Sustainability

    Beginning in October of 2005, Rural Action Sustainable Forestry, and Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture conducted outreach and education aimed at Natural Resource Professionals concerning invasive plants. Individuals reached ranged from students including Ohio University, Hocking College, Ohio State University, Master Gardeners, Extension Personnel, SWCD, and NRCS personnel, Division of Forestry staff, land managers, botanists, farmers, foresters, grounds personnel, nurseryman and township staff.

    Methods of outreach included 2 day, 1 day, and 1 -2 hour sessions. Curriculum presented was tailored to the targeted audiences and ranged from holistic educator presentations to specific control presentations, to general overviews. Presentations were made by contracted professionals as well as Rural Action staff. Continuing education units were offered, and events were advertised directly to agencies, and through partnering groups such as the Ohio Invasive Plants Council.

    Informational packets were constructed and distributed. Publications were given to Extension educators for distribution.

    Project objectives:

    Objectives and Performance Targets

    Short Term

    More than 50 Natural Resource Professionals (NRPs) were given specific education and tools to identify and control invasive plants. All educational opportunities included integrated approaches. The 20 NRP’s who attended the June 2007 intensive one day workshop were presented with challenging view points examining the nature of the language used, detrimental impacts of control and reasons for control. Those who attended the 2 day trainings were given broader educational; options ranging from native plant propagation to basic invasive identification.

    October 2007 attendees were presented with a study showing the loss of board foot production due to Bush Honeysuckle infestations.

    March 2008 attendees were given examples of the process of deriving IPM methods for invasive plant control.


    3 extension educators are now routinely including invasive plant management to master gardeners. Regional service foresters are being provided with hard copy materials to distribute.

    4 Land Managers are integrating native plants into managed landscapes and reducing use of invasive plants

    4 Native Plant Nurseries have been connected to increased sales and have increased inventory and selection due project programming, information dissemination, and networking with NRP’s.

    1 Extension Agent, 1 land manager and 10 student NRP’s participated in 2 year stilt grass control study comparing chemical, mechanical and cultural control methods.

    2 Service Foresters were given specific information on Tree of Heaven control methods.

    1 Extension Agent has pursued and presented on vegetative management and animal husbandry issues utilizing goats. He has received support, cooperation, and venues for presentations.

    Long Term

    Invasive plants have been elevated at the programming and management level of most Ohio NRP’s.

    NRP’s have access to invasive plant networks that are increasingly expanding.

    Over60 Master Gardener participants are aware of impacts of invasive plants, and the value of native plants and are continuing to disseminate this information through program mandated community service.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.