The next general meeting of the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council will be Saturday, July 16 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM at Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville.
Please try to attend this meeting. GA-EPPC has been very active since our last meeting in January and there is much to share, discuss and plan. If you have not visited our website recently, please do (www.gaeppc.org) - you will see it has been upgraded and improved significantly, thanks to the work of our members at Bugwood in Tifton. They are updating the site regularly so check it often to see the news.
Our general meetings are held twice a year (this year January and July) and at different locations to accommodate our widely scattered membership. We are generally holding them to the south in the winter and to the north in the summer. The meetings consist of an educational component (usually first, so come on time), discussion of business (committee reports, future plans, and general discussion) and are topped off by returning the hospitality of the hosting venue by helping do some actual invasive control/removal.
Emerging invasive problems: we will highlight 4 invasive plant species that may not be familiar to all of you that appear to be on the increase in Georgia: oriental bittersweet, Japanese climbing fern, cogon grass, and garlic mustard. We need as many people as possible alerted to these problems to prevent further spread
Education committee: this committee jumped on the task of developing a general use Power Point presentation and will share the impressive result with us
Invasive list committee: we have a working draft that we can all look over and discuss
Workshop committee: the next Invasive Plant Control Workshop is scheduled for Friday, September 30 at Mason Mill Park in DeKalb County. We are gearing this workshop to the professional vegetation management work force, primarily city and county workers in the metro Atlanta area.
Future needs: next year's workshops need to be planned as well as the possibility of having a general symposium in 2006; another project needed is to develop a system to report new or significant locations of invasive plants (Bugwood has begun to look into this)
Hands-on invasive control: Cynthia Taylor, Natural Resource Manager at Elachee, will find an area for us to work on. Yes, this is July and it will be hot - a hope a few of you hardy souls will tough it out with me!
My sincere thanks to all of you who have and are working hard to make this organization more effective! I am delighted with the progress we have made in the last year and a half - and it's only happened because enough of you have been committed to making it work.