On the Lookout

A recent sunny afternoon found me standing along the edge of one of Vermont’s back roads looking at a field being taken over by black swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum nigrum). This invasive species (pictured below) can form extensive patches of dense plants that crowd out native plants. Sobering as the scene was, I felt good knowing that VINS is taking an active role in the management of invasive species in our watershed.

VINS is a founding member of OCISMA (the Ottauquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area), a group comprised of concerned citizens, municipalities and businesses led by a steering committee that includes representatives from VINS, the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the VT Agency of Natural Resources, the Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District as well as Randolph-based invasive species pioneer Mike Bald. To find out more about the important work that OCISMA is doing and ways that you can help, contact Mandy Vellia, OCISMA coordinator.

This summer VINS is also looking at invasive species through the lens of research. As part of our summer research program, VINS has hired two summer research interns from Green Mountain College. Meet John Loffredo and Ben Sweet by going to our Summer Research Blog and learning what they are up to.


  1. Charlie Hohn on June 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

    As part of a project for VINS I set up a monitoring effort for invasive plants in the area around VINS. You can join in if you have a smartphone, by downloading the What's Invasive app and loading the VINS park. Give it a try… check out whatsinvasive.com or slowwatermovement.blogspot.com for more info.

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