Controlling Purple LoosestrifeSubmitted: 04/18/2016
Story By Chad Roethlisberger

Controlling Purple Loosestrife
EAGLE RIVER - Wildlife workers worry about the spread of Purple Loosestrife in our area. And while it may be difficult to completely remove, there are ways you can manage how far it spreads.

A group of middle school students in Eagle River took their learning outside today to help fight the spread of the invasive plant.

"What we're trying to do is dig up these plants; we're going to put some beetles on them that have been shown to eat nothing but purple loosestrife, and then eventually release those beetles out into places where they can do some work," said Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator Cathy Higley.

Purple Loosestrife can over power native plants especially in wetland areas. So knowing where the plant tends to grow can help you identify areas that may have the plant present.

"It usually prefers moist soils so you're going to see it in wetlands, you'll see it along ditches and drainages, and along shorelines for the most part," said Highley. "It does grow in some garden areas, but it tends to prefer the moist gardens."

For the teachers at SOAR middle school, getting the students outside in the field can help spark the interest of students.

"SOAR middle school is a project based charter school and being project based we like to have the students going out and doing some authentic learning where they're actually going out and doing things instead of just book learning necessarily. So they'll pick projects they're interested in," said SOAR advisor Robin Indermuehle.

Students spent about half of their school day removing the purple loosestrife. Today was just part of a much larger project.

"We're learning in the field," said Indermuehle. "We're going out there seeing the plants. We're going to be collecting the loosestrife beetles to put on the plants, watching them reproduce, and bringing those beetles then out to places where there is loosestrife so we can see the results of that."

To find out more about Purple Loosestrife and how you can help control the spread, visit the link posted below.

Related Weblinks:
WDNR Purple Loosestrife

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