Well, we are reaching the end of the fourth annual Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM). A huge thanks goes out to everyone who helped plan, organize, and conduct ISAM events. This year has proven to be record setting with over 80 events being held across the state. Programs ran the gamut in terms of scope and size. Some of the types of events held were garlic mustard pulls (an impressive 42 events held this year), emerald ash borer educational programs (3 events), webinars (2), stewardship/work days (17), kids’ events (5), and training/education/awareness sessions (15).
The ISAM newsblog has received over 17,000 page views over the last year and the Facebook page now has nearly 350 followers. We’ve started a series of Guest Articles available on the newsblog to highlight some of the stories of invasive species projects here in Illinois.
This was the second year for the ISAM awards, with awards being given out to 8 recipients over 5 different categories. The Illinois Invasive Plant Species Council has also been revived and is now actively pursuing projects.
As always, we are looking for ways to improve ISAM. We want to build upon this year’s great ISAM to make next year’s even better. I think 100 events for 2014 is not out of the question and we are already starting to plan a potential invasive species symposium as the keystone event for May 2014. If you have any suggestions, feedback, comments, etc. about ISAM, please send them to Chris.Evans@Illinois.gov.