Local highlight: Oconto County recruits new generation of weed warriors

In January, Oconto County Land Conservation Department became the newest member of Wisconsin’s Aquatic Invasive Species Partnership by hiring Amanda Strick as their AIS County Coordinator. Since then Strick, newly graduated from Northland College in Ashland, WI, has been hitting the pavement to recruit Octonto County’s next generation of boaters and anglers in stopping the spread of invasive species.

  Strick has joined the AIS message with     environmental education curricula of other Oconto County conservationists, including NRCS staff Jeff Maroszek and Chris Stephenson (soil science) and volunteers Rachel Wilcox and Travis Buckley (wildlife ID). Strick arrives at the joint school visits armed with preserved AIS specimens, affectionately  dubbed “dead things in jars”, Wisconsin Wildcards and temporary tattoos. In addition to general information about lake health, students learn what makes some aquatic species invasive and what steps to take to clean their boats as they leave the launch with their families. Students finish the lessons with Clean Boats, Clean Waters sing-a-long, printed below.

So far, says the new Coordinator, students’ creativity and enthusiasm for their lakes has been impressive. “The youth in Oconto are truly inspiring, they have innovative ideas and voices that will be speaking for conservation efforts in years to come.”

Th  Clean Your Boat!

(Words by Judy Ruch,  Sung to Tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)             
Clean your boat before it goes into the lake – (Clap, clap)
Clean your boat before it goes into the lake – (Clap, clap)
Take weeds off the boat,
Wash it well before it floats,
And the lakes will be beautiful for us. (Points to self.)
Throw old bait in the trash and not the lake – NO, NO (shake index finger)
Throw old bait in the trash and not the lake – NO, NO (shake index finger)
Don’t put it in the lake
Or trouble it will make
We want the lakes to be beautiful for us. (Point to self.)
 Tell everyone you know to clean their boat – HURRAH!
Tell everyone you know to clean their boat – HURRAH!
Tell your fathers and your mothers,
Uncles. aunts, sisters, and brothers.
And the lakes will be beautiful for us ALL !!!! (shout ALL – point to all of us.)                  

  (Post written by Amanda Strick and Deborah Seiler)                     

This entry was posted in Education and Outreach, Invasive Species, Other and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Local highlight: Oconto County recruits new generation of weed warriors

  1. Ted Ritter says:

    Judy Ruch will be pleased to know her outstanding program for youth AIS education continues to spread!

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