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Trees Forever offers new Des Moines training program on invasive species

Learn how to identify and remove forest invaders on May 13

DES MOINES (April 24, 2014) - Make a difference in the wooded areas of your community by joining in a free program to help identify and remove invasive species.

A new workshop, sponsored by Trees Forever in partnership with the City of Des Moines, will be held Tuesday, May 13, at the Bergman Academy, 100 45th St., Des Moines.

Participants will learn:
* Why invasive species are a problem
* Specific invasive species to look for
* Invasive species control methods

Garlic mustard, honeysuckle, buckthorn and barberry are among the invasive species that shade and crowd out native species, such as sweet william, Dutchman's breeches and bloodroot.

Leslie Berckes, Program Manager and Field Coordinator for Trees Forever, said native woodland plants are vital for the ecosystem, for pollinators and for water quality. "Iowa was once 20 percent woodlands and now we're down to 4 percent," she said. "So we really need to take care of the woodlands we still have."

Berckes said volunteers will be able to make a difference in their community woodlands with the classroom and hands-on training provided in the program. "Your help is needed to remove these backyard and forest invaders," she said.


What: Protect Our Woodlands invasive species training program
Where: Bergman Academy, 100 45th St, Des Moines, Iowa
When: Tuesday, May 13, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The workshop is free and a meal will be provided, but an RSVP is needed for the meal count. Register at: For more information, contact Leslie Berckes at 515-681-2295 or e-mail:

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Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, IA committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. For more information visit or call 800-369-1269.

Leslie Berckes




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