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CAES Spring Open House 2010 A Success

By CT Department of Agriculture (4/28/10)

  MAY 11, 2010 --

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) recently invited interested citizens, legislators, and the media to their annual Spring Open House. This year's topic, Conservation: Management of Invasive Insects and Plants, was selected to raise the awareness of Connecticut residents about the importance and prevalence of invasive plants and insects in the state.

Invasive species are a real threat to our environment and economy and can have potentially severe, often irreversible impacts on agriculture, recreation, and natural resources. They also threaten biodiversity, habitat quality, and ecosystem function.

This public event highlighted the resources and expertise offered by the Experiment Station staff to assist homeowners, land managers, and others interested in preserving natural areas with recognizing and managing invasive species and with making sound choices for selecting native plants for their landscapes.

Dr. Louis A. Magnarelli, Director of CAES, welcomed everyone to this yearly public event, which featured information on recognizing and managing invasive species. "The Experiment Station has assisted Connecticut residents since 1875 by providing research-based information on all aspects of plants and agriculture and today's event on the potential impacts of invasive species is of particular importance to our stakeholders," said Dr. Magnarelli.

Attendees heard short presentations on (1) "Biological Control of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Mile-a-Minute Weed in Connecticut," (2) "Connecticut's Invasive Aquatic Plants: Searching for Solutions," and (3) "Plants for the Landscape: Native or Exotic?" Attendees of guided tours learned about the role of marsh crabs and plant pathogens in Sudden Vegetation Dieback of Connecticut's salt marshes, how controlling barberry helps to reduce tick populations, and how to identify invasive and native plants.

There were displays and information about the Asian Longhorned Beetle and publications on many topics, including gardening, seed testing, and new ethnic and exotic crops. Experts also answered questions on plant identification and disease diagnosis, soil testing, and weed and insect identification-all important to maintaining a healthy environment.



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