Great Garlic Mustard Hunt a success -A total of 2,740 pounds of garlic mustard was eradicated in 2011 as a part of the event. As temperatures rise and the days grow longer, we begin looking toward spring and the return of abundant life and color in our favorite natural areas. However, emerging along with our beloved native wildflowers is a plant that is not welcome due to its unruly behavior.
East Central Illinois Master Naturalists participated in National Public Lands Day on September 24, 2011.
East Central Illinois Master Naturalists completed nine ash tree inventory reports detailing the number, location, state of health and size of ash trees (genus Fraxinus) in selected Champaign County communities. The Ash Tree Inventory project is an effort to discover the potential financial burden that will result as the emerald ash borer (EAB) makes its way to east central Illinois and kills ash trees.
Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners partnered to present "Eco-conscious Gardening and Landscaping" on February 21, 2011. Along with natural areas, home landscapes are part of the local ecosystem. Purpose was to learn about using native plants in the home landscape and how to be a responsible gardener and landscaper by choosing plants to avoid ecological problems. Presentations by Dan Olson, Director of Natural Resources for Champaign County Forest Preserve District and Jamie Ellis botanist with the Illinois Natural History Survey. Program was open to the public.
In September 2011 a survey was sent via email to the "Eco-conscious Gardening and Landscaping" program participants with email addresses. Of the 84 registered (66 with email addresses) 27 participants responded to the survey. Of respondents 92.3% stated they increased their knowledge about invasive plants at the program. 85% of respondents stated they made changes to their gardening practices after participating in the program.
The inaugural training class in Unit 12 concluded with the graduation of 20 Master Naturalist interns. The participants immediately got to work to form an organization and volunteer in the community. Below are some of their thoughts, put into words, regarding the training experience: