Members, Partners & Friends of the Strike Team
Together, We Can Nip Invasive Species in the Bud!
The management of invasive species has been an ongoing struggle for land stewards. In general, control of already widespread invasive species is not possible beyond select, intensive efforts. Most land stewards agree that existing control efforts are a ‘drop in the bucket’ relative to the enormity of the problem. The strategy of Early Detection & Rapid Response is an efficient strategy to eliminate or minimize future adverse impacts at the landscape scale. It carries the hopeful message that we can “prevent the next Japanese barberry” and reduce future ecological degradation.
The Strike Team serves as the organizing entity to focus cooperative efforts between partners. Partners have access to numerous benefits, including training on identification and eradication of invasive species and access to our database. Under the guidance and support of the Strike Team, partners search open space, report detections of emerging invasive species and initiate eradication efforts on the land they are responsible for managing. The Strike Team pledges to assist in these efforts, either through direct physical support or through shared expertise or in-kind resources.
We encourage any public or private agency, organization, business, or individual to contact us about joining the Strike Team partnership. We welcome new members and volunteers.
|Native meadows are some of New Jersey's greatest natural treasures|
Partner Spotlight: Middlesex County Parks
During the summer of 2013, we focused on training teams of interns and volunteers associated with partner organizations. As part of this initiative, we had the pleasure to work with the Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps, under the leadership of Eric Gehring, Open Space Coordinator for the Parks. After a training session in June, the Corps spent the summer working in several locations to reduce or eliminate invasive plant species. They tackled a patch of wisteria and treated nearly 10 acres infested with Callery pear and other meadow invaders. Here is a rundown of their accomplishments:
Jamesburg Park Conservation Area (Helmetta): Continued removal of a 1 acre section of Japanese knotweed which was previously hand-weeded and treated
Adams Farm (South Plainfield): Cut ¼ acre of wisteria
Scott's Corner Conservation Area (South Brunswick): Removed and treated 5 acres of callery pear, autumn olive and multiflora rose
Heathcote Meadows Preserve (South Brunswick): Removed and treated 14,000 sq. ft. of autumn olive, multiflora rose and honeysuckle along the forest edge
Tamarack Hollow Preserve (East Brunswick): Removed and treated invasives (autumn olive, rose and Callery pear) in a 4.7 acre meadow
Thompson Park Conservation Area (Monroe Twp): Hand-pulled a 200 sq. ft. patch of Japanese knotweed and selectively cut 200 autumn olive shrubs to restore 10 acres of meadow
It became clear to us over the last two summers that no matter how ambitious our tiny staff is, even with the addition of summer field stewards, we simply cannot physically address the issue of invasive species on a statewide basis. Doing the field work ourselves does not have a multiplier effect, which is what is needed when it comes to efforts to control invasive species. Training many teams leads to ever-increasing numbers of boots on the ground and increases our effectiveness many times over. Additionally, by having teams of partners working across the New Jersey, we'll have much better information about the condition of our state with regard to alien invaders. As they say, better to teach a person to fish! We offer sincere thanks to Middlesex County Parks for partnering with us and contributing to the fight against invasives!