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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Students make discovery on field trip to state park

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Rick

A recent field trip to Whitewater State Park near Rochester turned into more than a hypothetical exercise when a group of 125 seventh graders from Plainview-Elgin-Millville Junior High discovered an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in the park.

 

whitewater-eab-3The find was confirmed by a DNR resource specialist and reported to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which oversees the state’s response to emerald ash borer.

 

It was the first time EAB has been confirmed in the park, even though it has been found elsewhere in Winona County.

 

As the students examined trees in a campground at the park, they noted several of them showed signs that might be associated with EAB. But one in particular stood out. Each of the five groups of students agreed that something was wrong with it, and when the last group of the day peeked under the bark, they found the telltale s-shaped grooves left by tunneling EAB larvae.

 

“I love it when my students get to see how topics we discuss in class, like invasive species, show up as real issues faced by scientists in the field,” said science teacher Amblyn Reisetter. “We’ve been lucky the past five years to work with Whitewater staff who can give my students these types of experiences in the field.”

 

Park naturalist Sara Holger talked to the students about the discovery, and what its implications might be.

 

With nearly a billion ash trees across the state, Minnesota has much to lose in terms of both economics and aesthetics.

 

First found in Minnesota in St. Paul in 2009, the pest has now spread to 14 counties, with the transport of infested firewood the primary means of its movement.

 

Visitors have been prohibited from bringing firewood into state parks and other public lands in Minnesota since 2007, except wood that has been certified as pest-free or is sold by a DNR approved-firewood vendor. Holger said the students agreed that limiting the movement of firewood was a reasonable restriction given what’s at stake.

 

“Think how empowered these kids are now, knowing they can make a difference, even at age 12,” Holger said. “Hopefully they’ll be inspired to dream about how they can continue participating in conservation efforts as adults!”

 

First detected in Michigan in 2002, the EAB has laid waste to more than 100 million ash trees in 28 states. The insect’s larvae feed on the inner bark of all 22 species of native ash trees, killing almost every tree infested within two to five years. The United States has about 7.5 billion ash trees. In some forests, more than half the trees are ash.

 

Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas are a popular resource for teachers seeking an outdoor classroom to help students learn about nature and the environment.

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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Samanthaames

A serious problem has encountered to the board of forest that only the pest-free firewood should get passed for the household use. Many a time we didn't even recognize the firewood contain termites or other pests that may enter the home as we people nowadays making high use of woods as to decorate our household things. Through this wood, the ticks and the termites can enter the house and can spread a serious nuisance. To get rid of these pest issues one should contact termite control NYC or another professional who can exterminate all the pest.

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