Friday, February 6, 2009

Tennessee Invasive Weed Awareness Week

Tennessee Invasive Weed Awareness Week

Governor Phil Bredesen has issued a state proclamation declaring Feb. 22-28, 2009, as Invasive Weed Awareness Week (IWAW) in Tennessee in conjunction with the 10th Annual National IWAW in Washington, D.C. The Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (TN-EPPC), an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, is working closely with various local, state and federal organizations and agencies to promote public education on the harmful impacts of nonnative, invasive plant species through several ‘pest plant removal events’ around the state. Events are planned in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Details on separate page.) We are pleased to acknowledge our list of supporting groups and organizations in this statewide education effort. (See separate list.) Several of these supporters have organized a plant pull in their area and have invited local citizens to participate.

Throughout both urban and rural areas, invasive, non-native plants pose numerous threats to the Tennessee landscape, especially public lands such as parks and state natural areas. Invasive plant species overrun a variety of habitats, displace native plant populations, disrupt plant/animal associations, deprive wildlife of needed food sources, significantly reduce plant and wildlife diversity, imperil rare and endangered plants and animals, support nonnative pathogens and pests, and can alter ecosystem processes such as fire frequency/intensity, water and nutrient availability, soil chemistry and erosion. In addition, invasive plant species have a significant negative impact on agriculture and forestry. Nationally, costs associated with control as well as crop and land losses reach into the tens of billions of dollars annually. Gardeners, farmers, boaters, hikers, wildlife watchers, landscapers, hunters, anglers, landowners, and many businesses, all have a stake in recognizing and doing what they can to combat the most troublesome plant species.

TN-EPPC’s volunteer role is to monitor invasive species in the state, provide advice and counsel to local, state, and federal government entities as well as private land managers and landowners. Our Web site,, features a list of plants exhibiting invasive behavior in Tennessee, along with information on the best control methods and alternative native plant species for landscaping. A board of directors meets quarterly to identify and develop invasion response protocols, important partnerships, and education and outreach opportunities.

National Invasive Weed Awareness Week, now in its tenth year, features events focused on educating our federal policy makers and elected officials about the environmental and economic losses caused by invasive weeds. State, regional, and national invasive plant organizations across the country participate. TN-EPPC sends a representative each year.

For more information on TN-EPPC, please contact:

Terri Hogan – (615) 893-9501

Claude Bailey, Jr. – (731) 424-3520 ext. 204

Pat Parr – (865) 576-8123

More Information at: