Come and learn how a small beetle is helping to protect our wetlands from being overwhelmed by invasive purple loosestrife. The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) will provide training for volunteers interested in getting involved in NRWA’s purple loosestrife bio-control project on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Groton, MA.
Volunteers will learn about monitoring sites where beetles have been released in past years and about 5 new sites where beetles will be released in the summer. You will learn to identify purple loosestrife and the various life stages of the Galerucella beetles that feed exclusively on this plant. We will be monitoring at 12 sites where the beetles have been released in Ashburnham, Ayer, Groton, Leominster (if not too wet), Lunenburg, and Pepperell, as well as five new sites in Clinton, Groton, Harvard, Shirley, and Pepperell from June 2-17. We are looking for volunteers who can monitor at one or more sites. Monitors can pick up supplies and equipment at the Association and coordinate monitoring times with other volunteers. Monitoring takes about 1- 2 hours per site. Assistance in releasing beetles at the new sites is also needed. The training/refresher session for monitoring on May 30th will be held at the Broadmeadow Road parking lot in Groton by the Nashua River Rail Trail. Rain date is Tuesday June 5th. Attending the training is optional for returning monitors, but recommended for new volunteers.
Funding for this project is provided in part by the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the Groton Garden Club. Training is free and open to the public. If you know of anyone interested in the program, please encourage them to attend the training. Pre-registration is required. RSVP by May 29th to Kathryn Nelson, NRWA Water Monitoring Coordinator, at [email protected], or call (978) 448-0299.