Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Hunt for Invasive Species Slogans 5th Edition - Illustrations

We are developing a series of posts to highlight some of the more memorable and fun slogans on invasive species that you can find on publications, bumper stickers, and t-shirts. This series on invasive species slogans will include occasional posts covering different aspects of the topic. So far, we've covered the following categories: Play-offAlliteration, Rhyming, and Mascots.  For this post, we are going to focus more on the visual side of things and cover different examples of invasive species illustrations.

If you know of some slogans, invasive species illustrations or mascots that haven’t yet been posted in this series, please send them to


Like it or not, we humans are visual learners.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this principle holds true with invasive species education.  You can expound upon the negative impacts of an invasive species for hours, but often a picture of a heavily invaded area can bring the message home better than the best crafted speech.  Because of this, we often use pictures, graphics, cartoons, and videos to get the message out about invasive species.  We'll explore some of the fun, interesting, creative, and sometimes frankly strange approaches to invasive species illustrations.  

Conference T-shirts and Logos

Conferences are a time for creative people to shine!  I love the T-shirts and other swag you get when you attend a conference.  It also saves me from having to actually go out and buy shirts!  I would estimate that 70% of my attire is made up of conference T-shirts (with the other 30% being a mix of flannel and camoflauge).

"Plant Wars: The EPPCs Strike Back"

In this case, would the force actually just be Garlon?

This conference hasn't happened yet, but I hope they have T-shirts.  I saw an advertisement for this FL-EPPC/SE-EPPC joint conference in the latest copy of Wildland Weeds.  FL-EPPC and SE-EPPC stands for the Florida and Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Councils resp. in case you are unfamiliar with these organizations.  I have to admit that I am not a big Star Wars fan, but still I can appreciate the nice parody on display here with this logo and conference title.

"You can put lipstick on a feral pig, but it will still be a feral pig"

I've received some strange comments while wearing
this T-shirt around

This gem of a T-shirt came to me as a give-away during the 2008 Natural Areas Conference.  During the heat of the '08 presidential battle, politicians were throwing around the "You can put lipstick on a pig..." line like it was going out of style.  Luckily the good folks over at Invasive Plant Control Inc. seized the opportunity to create this shirt.  If you know the IPC guys, you know that they 1.) do great invasive species work, 2.) have well-developed senses of humor and 3). have a flair for creative advertising.  The last two are on display here with this shirt.

"The Mooski"

This creature is a legend in my household
This is easily my favorite T-shirt.  Half cow, half muskie, all awesome.  This was the conference t-shirt for a Forest Resource Program Leaders meeting way back in 2003 in Superior, Wisconsin.  That conference was very memorable for me because 1.) it was the site of my first 'professional presentation', 2.) it was the first time I saw Lake Superior, 3.) my swag take-homes included a cheesecake cookbook for some reason, and 4.) I got my Mooski T-shirt and a matching tote!  If anyone else attended this meeting, I would love to find out if you still have this t-shirt (or the cookbook!) and I would especially love to know who designed it.  If you  have any leads, please email me at  Also, if anyone has cool conference t-shirts that they would like to share send me a picture of them, though I doubt that they will top the Mooski!

"Tuning into Climate Change and Biological Invasions"
A great conference with great artwork
I've attended a scary amount of conferences during the last ten years.  If I counted up all of the days I spent at conferences I am sure it would stretch into several months.  Of all of the conferences, the 2008 Natural Areas Association/NA-EPPC joint conference in Nashville ranks up there as one of my favorites.  The creativity of the conference organizers was on high gear for this conference.  The conference built upon the Nashville culture by echoing a gospel revival in its artwork, design, and motto.  Best of all was the great live music included throughout the week.  I really love the artwork used as well.  Each attendee was given a conference poster.  Sadly mine is either missing or lost somewhere in the bowels of my filing cabinets.  Still I was able to grab an example of the artwork online.


"Invaders of the Natural Parks"

Dealing with Invasive Species can be like a adventure movie, minus Harrison Ford
I stumbled across this DVD when I moved offices here recently.  It was literally stuffed in the back of one of the filing cabinets.  When I saw this cover, I nearly wept with joy.  "Invaders of the National Parks" as a title is just asking to be a parody of "Raiders of Lost Ark".  Obviously the designer thought so based upon the font and graphics used here on the cover.  I couldn't wait to get this DVD into my computer and bask in the pun-filled video that I was sure would follow.  The DVD from the National Park Service turned out to be a well done and informative video about dealing with saltcedar in western Parks, but sadly not even one mention of Indiana Jones anywhere.  Nobody was even wearing the hat!  A missed opportunity.

"You Wouldn't Take Firewood to Graceland"

I'm honestly not really sure what is going on here in this picture

This video comes from the Don't Move Firewood Campaign.  They have a series of videos available online about the threats of invasive pests.  These videos are always well done and often very humorous. I could easily spend a whole post here just hitting the highlights from some of these videos.   I've got to say that the "You Wouldn't Take Firewood to Graceland" one confuses me quite a bit.  It gives a good message in an 'unusual' way.  

"Super Rangers and the Legions of Bugs"
h/t Troy Evans
Another great video from the
Don't Move Firewood Campaign

Another one from the Don't Move Firewood Campaign.  Above are some screen-grabs from an entertaining short video about the Super Rangers battling the evil Legion of Bugs, comprised of baddies so devious that they have their own acronyms such as EAB, ALB, and SOD.   I am glad the Super Rangers are on our side to defeat these pests that shall not be named .

"Slow The Onward Movement of Pests - S.T.O.M.P."
Since we're talking about battling forest pests and acronyms, this is a great time to highlight this cool program from the American Forest Heritage Area program in West Virginia.  I love the STOMP acronym and the graphic is pretty cool.

For the Kiddos

"The SooperYooper"
h/t Marilyn Shy

Now that is how you get rid of Invasive Lampreys!

The Sooper Yooper Billy Cooper, along with his trusty dog, battles invasive species in a great book by Mark Heckman and Mark Newman.  For those of you uninformed, a Yooper is someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the U.P.), a term I was unfamiliar with until I watched Escanaba in Da Moonlight. The drawings in this book are fantastic and it carries a great message: 'When it comes to the environment, everyone can be a superhero'.

"Baby's First Book of Weeds"

The angry frog disapproves of spotted knapweed
This very adorable little book comes from Ryan Pierce.  The rhyming lines and drawings of invasive plants next to animals glaring angrily (or in one case lying there dead) make it a fun read for folks of any age.

"Idaho in Under Attack!"
h/t Amy Ferriter

The Department of Agriculture in Idaho came out with a neat Activity Book on invasive species.  This book has lots of fun things kids can do to learn about invasive species.  One good example is poor Rascal who is covered in cheatgrass seeds.  He certainly looks like he is not having any fun.

Not for the Kiddos

"Weeds are a Pain in the Grass"
h/t Anna Lyon

A truer statement has never been said

I stuck this in the "not for the kiddos" section simply because of the saying this statement is playing off of.  Weeds are a pain and many of them do grow in the grass so it is a true statement.    This cool billboard is part of the Weed Cross Borders program up in the Northwest.  International cooperation on invasive species!!  I like this message because it instantly grabs your attention and makes you think.

"Nightmare Lurking in the Lake"
h/t Kim Bogenschutz
I didn't know carp were carnivores?

This fun little graphic is being sold on a T-shirt at There are a ton of different T-shirts available about invasive species, but I am warning you that some are a bit 'racy'.  I give that website a solid PG-13 rating so viewers beware.

What was originally meant to be a 3-part series continues to expand and is now sitting at five posts. I really enjoyed digging up all of these illustrations and sharing them with everyone.

Please do check out the other entries in this series on Play-offAlliteration, Rhyming, and Mascots and all of the FUN posts we've put up on this blog.  I am sure we'll continue this series so please,  if you see something that you think would be good to include, send it to me at To follow the Illinois ISAM news blog, 'like' us at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.