Northeast Iowa RC&D seeking individuals to assist with Japanese Knotweed eradication project this summer


Local Japanese Knotweed eradication project seeking assistance ... Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) is seeking assistance from local residents for an ongoing eradication project aimed at finding the best method to rid Allamakee County of Japanese Knotweed. Anyone interested in participating in the project this summer is asked to contact Josh Dansdill of RC&D by e-mail at josh@northeastiowarcd.org or by telephone at 563-864-7112. Submitted photo.

Japanese Knotweed is a plant taking over soil and water while growing to 10 foot tall. In northeast Iowa, a large growth is centered around Paint Creek in Allamakee County and Trout Unlimited North Bear Chapter and Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development have been partnering in an eradication effort of the plant.
Trout Unlimited budgeted monies for equipment, supplies and staff support as part of that eradication effort. The organization has also recruited onsite volunteers. Northeast RC&D provides technical and onsite leadership. Both organizations continue to welcome help from individuals and groups, and want to extend that invitation during the "off-season" winter months before the growing season resumes for the plant in the spring and early summer.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Japanese Knotweed eradication effort in Allamakee County is asked to contact Josh Dansdill, at josh@northeastiowarcd.org or by phone at 563-864-7112, and Bob Bernard of Trout Unlimited, at bearbernard46@gmail.com or by phone at 515-494-3434.
The projects being conducted in northeast Iowa are taking place across the Paint Creek Watershed, with a majority of the work being done in Waukon behind the Hardee's location on Rossville Road and in the Waterville area. Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) has been working on this project for the past three years, and in that timeframe work has been done on nearly five acres out of a total of 26 acres of Japanese Knotweed across the watershed.
This project is the first effort in Iowa to eliminate Japanese Knotweed from a specific watershed. During this project the RC&D is experimenting with a few treatment methods and recording the results to determine the most effective form of treatment for Japanese Knotweed.
"We have seen a variety of results from the treatments and are discovering this plant is difficult to eradicate and believe it will take at least five years of treatment," said Dansdill. More information about the local efforts can be found at the RC&D website under the Knotweed Eradication project, including a map showcasing the Japanese Knotweed stands along Paint Creek in Allamakee County.
Dansdill says the project will start back up again next summer, and that RC&D is looking for volunteers on scheduled workdays. "We had a low turn-out for volunteers this year and wanted to keep the project at the front of people's minds as we head into the  winter months," he said. "We are currently looking for an organization other than Trout Unlimited to help organize volunteers (school, church, etc.) that would like to post volunteer workdays next summer when they are organized. This project can only go as far as volunteers can take it because it is very labor intensive."
Japanese Knotweed forms large colonies with roots expanding up to 30 feet. Shoots grow extremely close, taking over soil, eliminating natural vegetation and nutrients in soil and water. The plant takes on the resemblance of green bamboo and is considered an invasive species throughout the United States, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An informative website where more knowledge about Japanese Knotweed can be gained can be found at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov, where viewers can click on the Plants link and then scroll down to the Japanese Knotweed link.
 

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