Sunday, May 31 at 4:00 pm

Weeds Gone Wild: Invasive Plants (And Animals) in Stockbridge

Garlic MustardThe Stockbridge Bowl Association and the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives are pleased to present Weeds Gone Wild: Invasive Plants (And Animals) in Stockbridge on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in the Jonathan Edwards Room of the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge.

Invasive plants and animals that damage native habitats are making inroads in Stockbridge. Local scientists Frank Lowenstein and Jess Toro will talk about the invasives that are already infesting our lands and waters – like barberry, phragmites (the prolific common reed) and Eurasian watermilfoil – and other threats on the horizon. What challenges are posed by these species? How do they threaten biodiversity, as well as our enjoyment and recreational use of Stockbridge Bowl and local trails and forests? Are we winning any of our battles with invasives? Frank and Jess will share their thoughts and solutions, based on years of working locally, nationally and globally on the issue of invasive species.  We invite boaters, swimmers, gardeners and all who care for the environment to join us. Bring your questions!

Frank Lowenstein is Deputy Director of the New England Forestry Foundation, which has conserved over 1 million acres of land throughout New England. Frank has over 25 years of experience in conservation. In his previous roles as Director of Forest Health for North America and as Deputy Director of the Global Invasive Species Team at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), he oversaw efforts to reduce the spread and impact of invasive forest insects.  In the 1990s and early 2000s, he led TNC’s regional work in the Berkshires.   He later served as TNC’s Climate Adaptation Strategy Leader. Frank also served on the executive committee of the UN-affiliated Global Invasive Species Programme. He currently is a Senior Fellow in the U.S. Department of State’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, a board member at Project Native in Housatonic, and teaches in the Environmental Studies department at Brandeis University. He lives with his family in Sheffield.

Jess Toro is a Stockbridge native and current Stockbridge resident. After heading west for college, she returned to the Berkshires to work for The Nature Conservancy for 11 years as the Conservation Program Manager. She led TNC’s Weed It Now program, a large-scale invasive species control project on 9,000 acres. This is the largest invasive species control effort to date in the Northeast. Currently Jess Toro co-owns Native Habitat Restoration, a company focused on restoring native habitats of the Northeast. Based in Stockbridge, the business manages and restores parcels of land to natural, healthy functioning ecosystems. Native Habitat Restoration works in woodlands, wetlands, meadows, grasslands and other open spaces with private, public and nonprofit landowners and organizations. Its services include invasive plant control, wetland restoration and rare species habitat improvement. Jess also facilitates conservation planning around the world, working with organizations, partnerships, and indigenous peoples on planning for climate change, invasive species and conservation priorities.

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