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Parks Combat Invasive Species With Education

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

National Park News

National parks around the Great Lakes are embracing web-based short films as tools to prevent the spread of invasive species.  Staff and volunteers of Indiana Dunes NL, Apostle Islands NL, and Sleeping Bear Dunes NL shared cautionary stories about a few of the most aggressive invasive species in the Great Lakes with a documentary film crew the last week of June.

 The film crew witnessed and recorded the harmful effects of emerald ash borer, zebra mussels, spotted knapweed, and invasive plants in general.

“It is so important for people to understand the kind of damage invasive species pose to natural areas as well as areas altered by humans,” shared Laura Thompson, Indiana Dunes biological science technician, about why she wanted to be a part of the film. “Not everyone lives next door to a national park, but everyone does live, work, or play near some outdoor space that is special to them”.

Funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the films are produced through Harpers Ferry Center by Argentine Productions.

“Invasives tend to go where people go,”  said director/producer Peter Argentine. “The issue seems to be exploding more and more and growing more and more,” “The issue seems to be exploding more and more and growing more and more,” Argentine said. “Invasives tend to go where people go.”

Thompson reiterates the link of people to invasive species. “So that we don’t become the source of the problem, spreading invasives, we need to be vigilant in de-contaminating ourselves, outdoor equipment; shoes, clothing, tents, boats, etc., before entering into a natural area.  Together we can work towards saving those places that are special to every one of us.  It all starts with an open mind, and willingness to do our part to be better stewards of this land.”     

The films will be available to share and distribute online for various web pages, including Facebook, YouTube, and other new social media outlets in September.   These join a large educational effort that includes posters, billboards, boot brush stations, rack cards, and interactive interpretive kiosks. 


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