Saco River invasive plant survey completed

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PARIS — The Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District last fall completed a project that involved the mapping of invasive plants along the upper Saco River floodplain, a project begun in 2008. Assisting partners in this effort were The Nature Conservancy, the Saco River Recreation Council and the Saco River Corridor Commission. The mapping project was funded by a Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grant with match provided by assisting partners.

The mapping survey project encompassed approximately 20,000 acres of highly vulnerable river floodplain areas and tributaries. During the three-year project, surveyors found significant infestations of eight of the 10 target species along the river and inland. Invasive nonnative plant species are a threat to native ecosystems and can quickly take over an area, adversely affecting native plants and wildlife habitat.

As part of a follow-up to the mapping project, the Oxford County SWCD is holding an Invasive ID and Control Workshop from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at the Fryeburg Rescue Barn, 89 Bridgton Road., Fryeburg. The goals are to increase awareness of invasive species and present information on ways to prevent their establishment or spread.

The workshop will consist of two parts and will focus not only on invasive plants, but also invasive insects. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a light lunch and refreshments.

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Copies of the final report on the Saco River Invasive Plant Mapping Project as well as workshop registration forms can be downloaded from the district website, www.oxfordswcd.net. For more information or to register by phone contact Michele Windsor at the Oxford County SWCD, 743-5789, ext. 101.

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