Photo by James Kellar

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from CISMA. Bloom has republished it here with edits for style and clarity.

Local invasive species groups called Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) are forming across Indiana with the help of nonprofit organization Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM). Partnership organizations and county residents are coming together to discuss the invasive plants that are taking over yards, farmland, forests, and parks across in the state.

This year’s annual Indiana CISMA Conference will take place as a multi-format event with a combination of virtual and in person opportunities. The theme of the 2021 conference will be “Why Do We Manage Invasive Species?” The conference will be held from Wednesday, August 4–Saturday, August 7.

The conference offers continuing education credits via prerecorded presentations from conference speakers, to be made available to registrants only. A virtual networking session will kick off the conference on Wednesday, August 4, from 6:30–7:30 p.m. A live virtual meeting will take place in the morning on Thursday, August 5, from 9 a.m.­–12:30 p.m., and will feature a live keynote speaker.

New this year, regional field events will be hosted on Friday, August 6, and Saturday, August 7, for attendees to choose from. These field events will be held concurrently in-person around the state and registrants can choose which event they would like to attend. These events are designed to address a particular restoration focus (urban, rural, forestry, prairie, wetland, etc.), teach invasive species identification, and provide examples of local management techniques.

There will be a total of seven speakers who will address reasons why we need to manage invasive species. Some speakers are local and others are from other states and the U.K. Six of the speakers will have recorded sessions to watch in advance.

The registration fee for the conference is $25. Each year, proceeds from the Indiana CISMA Conference are used to kick-start the following year’s conference and provide funding to CISMAs across the state. As in previous years, proceeds from this year’s event will make it possible for SICIM to offer small grants to CISMAs in 2022. CISMAs use these funds to support outreach and launch campaigns to promote management of invasives and to plant native species. Funds are also being used for boots-on-the-ground invasive management in public green spaces.

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