Workshop addressing the spread of invasive plants held in Chippewa County

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CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU)-- Experts say invasive plants like Wild Parsnip have been shown to have a huge impact on the state.

To help educate and jumpstart management, the University of Wisconsin Madison Extension along with 4-Control are conducting roadside invasive plant field-days throughout the state, including Chippewa County.

"An invasive plant is a non-native plant that can cause some type of harm to the people, environment or even the economy of Wisconsin and roadsides are a major corridor for these to spread," said Mark Renz, Extension Specialist and professor at UW-Madison.

"What’s unique about today is really focusing on townships and municipalities and how they locally can get a handle on this problem," said Renz.

The workshop targets people who work along roadsides and deal with vegetation management. "Previously we've just given lectures and presentations to them and we've now integrated this with large scale demonstrations where they can actually go out into the field and get an idea of and view what those control methods are. How to utilize them and we also get the experts out here so they can ask questions," said Renz.

Officials with UW-Extension say it takes a community wide response to reduce the population of invasive plants along Wisconsin roadways. "We really have three issues that we’re worried about on roadsides, the number one issue is that some of these invasive plants can have harm to human health...wild parsnip, that yellow flowering plant is one of the prime examples...if you get the sap on your skin, it can burn your skin and cause injuries that can persist up to a year in some cases," said Renz.

He says the goal is to work with communities and help them develop a sustainable management plan to tackle invasive plants in areas most impacted.

Workshops will also be held in Portage, Sauk, and Brown counties over the next several weeks.