FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 4, 2020
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
Elise Schadler, Program Manager, Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program
Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources
September 4, 2020 – The week of September 12 – 19 has been designated as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Vermont. The week is part of a nationwide effort to raise public understanding of an invasive forest pest that has destroyed millions of ash trees in the U.S. This wood-boring beetle, first found in Vermont in 2018, is now confirmed in eight Vermont counties. Experience in Midwestern states has shown that once this pest is detected in an area, unless treated with insecticides, the majority of ash trees will become infested and die within a decade. State and local agencies are working hard to slow the spread of the borer to give municipalities, private landowners, and forest products businesses time and resources to prepare for the demise of many ash trees.
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets and University of Vermont Extension, encourages Vermonters of all ages to get involved by spreading awareness on social media, organizing a neighborhood ash tree tagging campaign, or planning a COVID-safe community EAB activity during the month of September.
The Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit (http://go.uvm.edu/eab-toolkit), available at the website VTinvasives.org, includes many resources and ideas for activities. The toolkit contains information on the emerald ash borer, ash tree identification, and how to conduct a neighborhood tree tagging campaign, as well as videos, posters, sample social media posts, and resources for educators.
Activities during Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week and throughout the month of September include:
- At least nine communities throughout Vermont will be tagging local ash trees and hosting other COVID-safe activities in September, including South Hero and Grand Isle County, Monkton, Hartland, Londonderry, Northfield, Ludlow, Middlebury, Morrisville, and Jericho. For details and to learn about other planned activities, visit http://vtcommunityforestry.org/news/events.
- The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry program is partnering with the Vermont Land Trust to highlight stories about Vermont-made ash products and beloved ash trees on social media. You can view the stories and photographs of some of the state’s special ash trees at vlt.org/ash or by signing up for the Vermont Land Trust or Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Facebook pages.
- A daily webinar or video focused on emerald ash borer and ash tree management will be posted on the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program’s events page http://vtcommunityforestry.org/news/events and Facebook page.
- The Green Mountain Club, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, as well as many towns, have posted signs at trailheads on how to identify ash trees and detect and report suspected infested trees.
What you can do:
- Contribute a story, drawing, photograph, or poem about an ash tree or ash tree product that is meaningful to you to email@example.com.
- Learn where emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Vermont by checking the map at VTinvasives.org and do not move untreated wood outside of the infested areas from June 1st to September 30th (the insect’s flight season).
- Don’t move firewood. Because 80 percent of new infestations originate in or around campgrounds, residents and visitors are urged to buy and use only local firewood.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of EAB infested trees and report suspects at Vtinvasives.org
- Learn how municipalities and town forests can plan for emerald ash borer at the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program’s Community Preparedness for Emerald Ash Borer webpage (https://vtcommunityforestry.org/community-planning/tree-pests).
- Sign-up to become a Forest Pest First Detector to help monitor and plan for invasive insects in your community by emailing Ginger.Nickerson@uvm.edu
If you have questions about Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, or if you are planning an event, please contact Ginger Nickerson, UVM Extension Forest Pest Educator, at Ginger.Nickerson@uvm.edu.
Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is hosted by University of Vermont Extension; Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets; the Vermont Land Trust; and Vermont’s Forest Pest First Detectors.
Elle O’Casey | Director of Communications and Outreach
Agency of Natural Resources
1 National Life Dr, Deane C. Davis Bldg, 2nd Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620