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WORKING TO STOP AN INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES

Education Grant Awarded to Upper Delaware Scenic Byway

October 12, 2010

NARROWSBURG – Sullivan Renaissance has awarded a 2010 Environmental Initiatives Grant to the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB) for a public education project targeting the invasive plant species Japanese Knotweed.

A campaign featuring a new brochure and a series of seminars will raise awareness of the detrimental effects of Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway corridor and offer potential eradication strategies.

The aggressive proliferation of this hardy, herbaceous perennial threatens to displace the river valley’s native plants and diminish the region’s viewshed appeal.

A working group comprised of representatives from UDSB, Inc., the Lumberland Environmental Council and the National Park Service’s Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Resource Management Division began meeting in October.

UDSB and its partners will research, draft, and publish a brochure that updates a May 2005 “Spread the Word, Not the Weed” pamphlet that was produced by the Japanese Knotweed Initiative under the sponsorship of the Callicoon Creek Park Committee, Delaware River Foundation, and New York State Council of Trout Unlimited.  A direct mailing to property owners will aid in the brochure’s distribution in early 2011.

A series of four free seminars, with expert speakers and handouts, will follow at diverse locations and timeframes next spring throughout the UDSB region.  Participants will receive information on Japanese Knotweed’s characteristics, discussions of natural and chemical controls, and tips on how to prevent the invasive plant’s further spread.

Sullivan Renaissance’s $1,900 grant will help UDSB to meet the required local match for a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Scenic Byways Program grant that will provide $12,400 in reimbursement funding for both the Japanese Knotweed campaign and an unrelated project to design, fabricate, and install eight UDSB interpretative panels in each member municipality along New York State Route 97.

For more information about the UDSB’s Japanese Knotweed project, please call (845) 252-3022 or e-mail info@upperdelawarescenicbyway.org.

To learn about the UDSB organization and request a free travelogue brochure, visit www.upperdelawarescenicbyway.org.