Locals Earn Wisconsin Invasive Species Awards

Locals Earn Wisconsin Invasive Species Awards

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) congratulates the winners of the 2024 Wisconsin Invasive Species Council’s Invasive Species Action Awards held on June 5th at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Previously known as the Invader Crusader Awards, these individuals and groups in professional and volunteer settings positively help fight against invasives.

Marshfield resident Dan Umhoefer earned one of 13 prestigious awards for his work in removing invasive species from Marshfield’s parks and trails and restoring its ecological diversity by planting and nurturing service flora. He is also instrumental in fighting noise pollution by doing all his work by hand with a bow saw. This manual labor has transformed local environments in an unobtrusive and ecologically friendly way.

The Kappel family from the Town of Spencer also earned one of the prestigious awards, Barry Kappel, Carol Berg-Kappel, and their grandson, Christopher. They have provided more than 250 hours of volunteer work to provide purple loosestrife biocontrol to numerous locations in central and northeast Wisconsin, including their 70-acre restored prairie just north of Marshfield. They have created a self-sustaining insectary of Galerucella beetles to feed on the invasive plants.

All of the award recipients used many different approaches in their fight to eradicate invasive plant species, but each winner is united in putting in long hours in the ongoing battle against the spread of these invasive species.

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