Blue Springs, Mo. – Visitors taking a guided hike at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center saw some special action along the Missouri Tree Trail on Oct. 5. Superheroes such as Spider Woman battled the tree-killing invader emerald ash borer, and Aquagirl and helpers demonstrated how to keep invasive Asian carp from spreading to new waters. Superman summed up how people can help control all the costumed invasive species found along the trail, before the superhero strode off to eradicate some unwanted sericea lespedeza.
Those were but a few of the exhibits, crafts, demonstrations and skits as MDC's Burr Oak Woods staff and volunteers presented their special fall event, Superheroes and the Curse of the Alien Invaders. Rain prior to the event left the woods fresh and mysterious for the guided hike. Children walking with parents or grandparents took the tour, many giving their Halloween costumers an early tryout.
Invasive plants, insects, and animals are a major problem for conservation land managers, farmers, and home owners. But as Superman said, people can help by being aware of potential problems and solutions.
For more information about invasive species in Missouri, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/wildlife/nuisance-problem-species/invasive-species. The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center and Conservation Area serves the greater Kansas City area. To learn about the center’s hiking trails or future educational programs, visit http://mdc.gov/burroakwoods.