MDC offers invasive plant clinic at Springfield Nature Center

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Introducing non-native plants into a wildlife habitat can be compared to throwing a rock into a machine: This may cause the machine to operate at a reduced efficiency or it may shut it down completely.

People can learn more about problems non-native plants can cause - and how to solve those problems - at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Invasive Plant Species Workshop. This event will be 9-11:45 a.m. Sept. 18 at MDC's Springfield Conservation Nature Center. An optional work project portion will be offered from 12:30-3 p.m. at the Nature Center.

The workshop will feature sessions on Callery pear, wintercreeper, exotic honeysuckles and hydrilla. These non-native plants provide good examples of some of the problems exotic species can cause. When exotic plant species invade an area and crowd out native plants, habitats often change for the worse. Insects that were attracted to native flowers go elsewhere. Native birds might not be able to find as many food sources. Nesting and brood-rearing might not be present any more or are available at a reduced presence because the vegetation the animals need isn't there anymore. These changes can have significant impacts on insect, songbird and other wildlife populations which, in turn, can have economic and aesthetic impacts for humans, too.

To register for this free workshop, e-mail the Springfield Conservation Nature Center at or call 417-888-4237. When you register or call, indicate if you are staying for lunch and the afternoon work projects. (A free lunch will be provided from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for those who participate in afternoon work projects.)

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located at 4601 South Nature Center Way in Springfield. This workshop is an example of how the Missouri Department of Conservation works with you and for you to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife.