Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rural Action News

Rural Action Forestry Hosts Invasive Plant Management Training
By Kelsey McCoy, VISTA for Media

On Monday, March 10, natural resource professionals, students, landowners and community volunteers braved the snow and ventured to the Geneva Hills Lodge in Lancaster, Ohio for Rural Action Forestry’s Invasive Plant Management Training. 22 people attended the daylong event. It began at 9:30 a.m. with an introductory speech by Wayne National Forest Botanist Cheryl Coon. Coon is the Invasive Species Coordinator for the Wayne, and deals with invasive species on federal lands, trains volunteers and partners in invasive plant identification, inventory and control. Next, Doug Albaugh, Board Member of Friends of the Lower Muskingum River, spoke about his success controlling Tree of Heaven, a rapidly growing invasive species that was widespread on his 30 acres in Morgan County. Then, Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator for The Ohio State University Extension of Athens County went into detail about utilizing goats as an invasive plant control option.

At noon, the group broke for lunch, a delicious spread of local foods prepared by Rural Action Agriculture VISTA Bob Fydeski. The meal showcased local farms and businesses including: Crumbs Bakery, the Farmacy, Snowville Creamery, Village Bakery, Herbal Sage, King Family Farm, Green Edge Gardens, Cantrell Honey, and High Bottom Farm.

After lunch, the group learned about the many exciting and beautiful plants that can serve as alternatives to invasive species during a presentation by Dr. Frank Porter, owner of Porterbrook Native Plants, which is located along the Ohio River in Meigs County. Finally, Tom Redfern, Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator at Rural Action presented on Career and Business Opportunities and Invasive Plants.

Overall, the training provided an extensive amount of information and resources about invasive plant management. Anyone can contact Heather Sheets, Rural Action VISTA for Forestry at 740-767-4938 or, to receive a free resources folder, including power points used by speakers, an invasive plant ID sheet, alternatives list and magazine articles about invasive plant management techniques.

"The Silent Invasion: Ecological and Health Threats of Invasive Species,” is coming up on March 27 from 9-4 pm at The Ohio State University Extension Meigs County office. The training will inform landowners about identifying and removing invasives, utilizing native plants, and a keynote speech by Mark Rose, who has been working with native plants since 1954 in North Carolina and is currently on the North Carolina Plant Conservation Board. To register, contact 740-992-6696 or

Buy Tickets Online Now for the Adventure Auction!

The Adventure Auction is quickly approaching in a little more than a month! On April 19, Rural Action will host this exciting benefit at the Inn at Hocking College in Nelsonville, showcasing regional adventure opportunities and local businesses. With a fantastic dinner, live and silent auctions, and music by Frank McDermott (owner of the Blue Eagle) and Woody Pines and the Lonesome Two, it is sure to be a night to remember. You can purchase tickets ONLINE at It’s easy, quick, and most importantly, secure. If you would rather buy tickets via snail mail, contact Jordan at 740-767-4938.

Check out the website to view an extensive list of adventure packages, including a sunset safari, kayak trips, theater tickets, and so much more!

Southeast Ohio VISTAs to Gather at Rural Action
By Tori Patterson, VISTA Leader

Rural Action will host an AmeriCorps VISTA Gathering on Friday, March 21st from 10:00 - 2:00 at the Trimble office. All VISTA members in the Athens County area are invited to attend. The event will be a great opportunity to meet VISTAs working at many different organizations in southeast Ohio and learn about the region that they serve. Bruce Kuhre, an Ohio University professor of sociology and long-time friend of Rural Action, will be giving a presentation titled "Appalachian Culture from an Historical Perspective." Following the presentation there will be a potluck lunch and time for networking, resource sharing and discussing opportunities to collaborate. VISTAs should bring a list of their organization's upcoming events and volunteer opportunities and a dish to share at the potluck. Contact Tori Patterson, 740-767-4938 or for more information or directions.

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