In addition to taking away growing space for native wildflowers, tree seedlings, and other habitats, certain invasive plant species are now believed to be associated with an increased risk of exposure to Lyme disease. Middlesex Community College students and several dozen members of the community met at Middlesex Community College to discuss this growing concern and learn how to better control these “undesirable” plants.
Robert Rocks from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) DEEP Forestry Division and Thomas Worthley (pictured here) from the University of Connecticut, Cooperative Extension reviewed techniques for an integrated invasive plant control program in forest edges and understories. They also conducted demonstrations on treatment techniques including flame weeding, mechanical control, and herbicide application, and discussed site evaluation, time estimates for treatments, and field safety.
“It is very helpful to understand the effects harmful plants can have on our overall environment and public health,” said MxCC Professor Pam Frost, who coordinated the event for the College. “At the same time, it is crucial to understand the different control options available to us that have a very focused impact. This was an extremely instructive event for our students and community.”
The event was sponsored by the Middlesex Community College Foundation along with The Rockfall Foundation, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension, the CT-DEEP Forestry Division, USDA NRCS Connecticut, the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Shagbark Lumber and Farm Supply, and Beta Gamma Xi (the MxCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society).
Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College (mxcc.edu) is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education. The school offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at its three locations: the main, 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, and the shoreline in Old Saybrook. The college promotes understanding, learning, ethics, and self-discipline by encouraging critical thinking. Current enrollment exceeds 2,875 full and part-time students, and 1,600 continuing education students.