DCCD project manager gives presentation on invasive species

Paul Jacobs Photo Ben Determan Golden K program chairman introduces guest speaker Lindsay Peterson, project manager Dickinson County Conservation District. 


For The Daily News

KINGSFORD — Jack Frost in full array across the lawns greeted the Golden K seniors as they came together at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford Monday morning. Shrugging off the chilly air, Ben Determan as chairman for the Month of October invited the members to join in the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” followed by singing “God Bless America.” Beginning this way every Monday morning never lets us forget how truly blessed, we, as Americans are.

With voices all tuned up and ready to go, Sue LeDuc on piano and Lois Outcelt directing had the group singing a medley of oldies that sort of all rolled together. As they welcomed guest speaker, Lindsay Peterson, even though she hasn’t reached senior status, she could be seen singing right along with the group enjoying the “oldies. “

A rousing cheer went up as the 50/50 winner was announced – it may have come from the man with the winning ticket — Kirk Olson. There were no birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate but one Happy Dollar from Gary and Sue Proudfit. They were happy to hear good news about their daughter Nancy, getting a good report from the doctor. Nothing better than “good news “ from the doctor.

Ben Determan then turned the meeting over the Lindsay Peterson. She has a title almost as long as she is tall. She is the coordinator of the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Collision working as project manager with the Dickinson County Conservation District. Raised in the Foster City area, she has always has a fondness for the outdoors. Pursuing her education led her through some career changes until she settled on exactly what and where she wanted to be. Having found her place in the working world appears to be a good “fit” for her and the DCCD.

The Dickinson County Conservation District does not receive any government funding. It relies on grants and their tree sales for monies needed to complete their projects. Conservation departments on the federal, state and local level worked together to help control the invasive species that continue to infest forests and lakes across the country.

Invasive species are non-native, fast growing vegetation, plant and animal life form that takes over the environment on land and in the waterways. Some plants are flowery and inviting. Lovely to look at but as they are transplanted into people’s gardens they began to overtake native vegetation and can be extremely difficult to eradicate.

Water, boats and people go together and when one takes their pleasure craft or fishing boat from one waterway to another they are unknowingly carrying unwanted “hitch hikers.” Zebra muscles have infested the local lakes and various organizations have been busy informing the public of the problem and making efforts to control the growth. Summer college students work around the local lakes providing a pressure wash for boats as they prepare to leave the water.

Wild parsnip the pretty yellow flower appearing along roadsides look harmless enough, but beware – they contain a substance when touched on your skin and then exposed to sunlight can caused burns, up to second degree burns. The Japanese knotweed appears to resemble bamboo, since bamboo does grow here this is another invasive plant to avoid.

The list is extensive and the problem keeps growing. Citizens are becoming more aware of invasive species and the damage it causes. Conservation departments have information on all known invasive species and welcome inquires and ready to help where ever they are needed.

After a two year study on lakes, rivers and water ways the Lake Management Plan on eight Dickinson County and two counties in Menomonee gathered data on the quality of water and plant life, the effect of invasive species and what can be done to correct the problem.

Studying the ecological and environmental impact in the lakes, rivers and forests in this area brings to the public the importance of educating everyone, young and old, on the dangers of invasive species. “If it looks good, don’t touch it.”

There is informative information on the various web sites, in The Daily News and at the local conservation Department on Pyle St, Kingsford. Questions are welcomed and help is available if you encounter problems on your property at home or camp.

Golden Throats will sing Nov. 8 at ManorCare.

The Nov. 6 general meeting will have Craig Recla and the Iron Mountain Jazz Band. Meetings begin at 10 a.m. and the program is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

All are welcome to come and be prepared for these young people will certainly put a jump start on the week ahead.