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Invasives News & Updates


Invasive Plant Walk at Curtis Farm Preserve

Saturday, June 11 from 10-11:30 a.m. at Curtis Farm Preserve (meet at the 1554 Harpswell Neck Road parking area). Limited to 20 participants. Advance registration is required. Click here to register. This educational walk will explore areas around the field where the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) has been working to remove invasive plants. We will […]

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Invasive Plant Fact Sheets and Resources

Invasive Plant Fact Sheets The Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership has decided to focus on plants deemed invasive by the Maine Natural Areas Program. For some of these plants, the group has created fact sheets to aid in identification and control. You are welcome to download the fact sheets by clicking on the links below. Asiatic […]

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HIPP-help

Invasive plants are a problem in Harpswell. They reduce our critical native plants, pollinators, butterflies and birds. They disrupt agriculture. They can harm human health. HIPP-help plant experts can help you identify invasive plants on your property and suggest control methods and strategies. This service is free of charge; however, HIPP appreciates contributions to support […]

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Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership

About the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership The Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) is a volunteer effort to respond to the explosion of invasive plants on our public lands. The partnership was formed in 2014 as a cooperative effort of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT), the Harpswell Town Lands Committee, the Harpswell Conservation Commission, the […]

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HIPP Workday at Curtis Farm Preserve: Oct. 16

Who: Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership and community volunteersWhen: Saturday, October 16, 9:00 a.m.-NoonWhere: Curtis Farm Preserve 1554 Harpswell Neck Road, HarpswellWhat: Invasive Plant RemovalHow: Bring loppers, pruning saw, pruners and gloves; HIPP also has extras! We will be cutting invasive honeysuckle and bittersweet north of the parking lot near the Preserve entrance. Bring water to […]

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HIPP Workday at Otter Brook Preserve: Oct. 6

Who: Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership and community volunteersWhen: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 9:00 a.m.-NoonWhere: Otter Brook Preserve. Do not meet at the official parking lot for the preserve. Instead, park along the southern end of Peabody Road. We will walk as a group into the woods so please be on time.What: Invasive plant removalHow: Bring […]

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Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership workday: Sept. 8 at Johnson Field Preserve

September 8, 9 am-12 pm at Johnson Field Preserve, Abner Point Road, Bailey Island. Learn to identify and control invasive plants, and help restore our native habitats. Your efforts today will help generations to come. Bring water, bug repellent, sunscreen, gloves and your favorite gardening hand tools (clippers, hand saws, etc.) to clip and treat short bittersweet […]

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Volunteer Opportunity with Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership: July 8

Who: Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership and community volunteersWhen: Thursday, July 8 from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.Where: Otter Brook Preserve, 429 Harpswell Neck RoadWhat: Invasive Plant RemovalHow: Bring loppers, pruning saw, pruners and gloves; HIPP also has extras! We will be cutting invasive honeysuckle and multi-flora rose in the south loop of Otter Brook Preserve. Bring water […]

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Spring is nearly here, and it is time to plan your gardens

According to Andy Brand, horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens, adding native edible plants to the landscape can have a delightful outcome! They look gorgeous with lots of color and texture. The New York Botanical Garden uses lots of parsley in their perennial beds to add that deep green and structural shape in between other […]

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2020 Report from the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership

This past year began as any other, with meetings, plans for work dates and public education events. Sadly, life gets in the way of well-laid plans, and the Covid-19 pandemic brought the HIPP activities to a screeching halt, along with those of many other organizations. In spite of limitations imposed by Covid-19 precautions, we managed […]

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Otter Brook Project and Invasive Plant Guide

As some of you may know, particularly if you read our “Did You Know” advertisements in the Harpswell Anchor, the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) received grant funding for a project at Otter Brook Preserve. Otter Brook Preserve is on the eastern side of Rte. 123 north of Mountain Road. Otter Brook is one of […]

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Top Five Actions Everyone Can Take Right Now to Prevent and Manage Invasive Species

From the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Look for woodpecker blonding on ash trees. This shallow flecking of the bark by woodpeckers is a common sign of an emerald ash borer (EAB) infested ash tree. When you think you see blonding, take the best quality photo (phone pictures are okay), note your location, […]

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HIPP’s Otter Brook Project

The Otter Brook Project will center on the Otter Brook Preserve in Harpswell, combining educational and community activities with invasive plant removal and control efforts. Otter Brook Preserve was opened to the public by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust in 2018. The eastern portion of this 68-acre property consists of the Otter Brook, one of […]

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Invasive Plants: Why Should We Care?

By Priscilla Seimer When members of the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership are removing invasives in the area, people often stop to ask what we’re doing.  Sometimes folks ask us what an invasive plant is, or what plants in our area are invasive.  And sometimes someone asks why we bother. The answer to  “why we bother” […]

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Invasive Plants on Peary’s Eagle Island

By Priscilla Seimer, Harpswell Invasive Plant Initiative The arrival of invasive plants on Peary’s Eagle Island is depressing, but not surprising. As noted below, they are very good at what they do – colonize and spread. What can be more confusing to people is just what an invasive is, and why controlling them is so […]

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Black Swallow-wort

Spread the Word, Not the Seed Why Are We Worried About Black Swallow-wort? Black Swallow-wort is a fast-spreading invasive vine that chokes out other plants and small trees. Because the fruit of Black Swallow-wort resembles milkweed, butterflies lay their eggs on it. The larvae hatch, eat the Black Swallow-wort leaves, and die from the toxins […]

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Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership Offers Home Visits

By Don Westfall Last summer, Nancy and George Kinser looked around their Bailey Island property and found some unfamiliar visitors in the garden. Among their own plantings were a few exceptionally vigorous newcomers. Through her membership in the Harpswell Garden Club, Nancy had heard about the spread of invasive plants and a program to help […]

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Have a Happy (Native Plant) Holiday Season!

This time of year many of us decorate our homes or apartments with holiday cheer. Brightly colored lights, candles, winter gourds, wreaths – the variety is limited only by imagination. Our hands and hearts make our spaces warm and welcoming. This season as many of us think about how we want to decorate, the Harpswell […]

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The Monarch Butterfly’s Nemesis: Black Swallow-wort

By Becky Gallery Everyone recognizes the colorful Monarch butterfly, flitting about the garden. Its colorful orange and black body warns birds to stay away. What makes the monarch so unappetizing to birds? The adult monarch lays its eggs on milkweed, which the newly hatched larva eat. The monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweeds, which contain […]

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Dodder Alert! Another Aggressive Invasive Plant Appears in Harpswell

By Priscilla Seimer Volunteering for the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership means getting to know a variety of invasive plants up close and personal. At times, however, it also means encountering native plants we may not have seen before. Usually that is good; maybe it means a native is trying to re-establish itself where only invasives […]

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HIPP’s Approach to Controlling Invasives

Harpswell is situated on a narrow peninsula and islands, so the potential for contaminating the ocean or our restricted fresh water supply is great. We work to control invasives without further damaging water, soil, desirable plants and people. We try to avoid using herbicides whenever possible. The most successful approaches to limiting the spread of […]

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Herbicide Use

By Jeff Stann Removing invasive plants by pulling and digging is the preferred way when practicable. But sometimes plants get too large to handle that way, or it may be destructive of nearby plants. This is an appropriate time to think of herbicides as alternative method. Large woody vines like Asiatic Bittersweet and large shrubs […]

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Borrow a Weed Wrench

HIPP owns a weed wrench it loans out for uprooting those tough invasive plants. It provides leverage to pull up plants that would be difficult or impossible to pull up by hand. Call 207-373-1811 to make arrangements.

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What is HIPP Doing?

Our aim is to create a broad awareness in Harpswell about invasive plants and the problems they create, and to provide information to help residents eradicate or contain them. As a start, in 2015, HIPP volunteers surveyed three HHLT preserves and three town properties: Johnson Field Preserve, the Mackerel Cove Lot, McIntosh Lot Preserve, Giant’s […]

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Two Invasive Plants to Look Out for This Summer

By Jeff Stann Two flowering plants will be appearing in Harpswell this summer that bear watching. Both are invasive, crowding out native plants and taking over gardens and wetlands. Both can be controlled relatively easily if we get to them as soon as they appear. The first is Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), a perennial found […]

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Weeding Out Invasive Plants

By Kara Douglas Published in the Harpswell Anchor, June 2017 Asiatic Bittersweet, Japanese Barberry, Himalayan Balsam: An exotic list, and one that members of the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) have come to know well. As more non-native, invasive plants are identified along roadsides and on public properties, HIPP has taken the initiative to educate […]

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Weeding Out Invasive Plants

By Kara Douglas Published in the Harpswell Anchor, June 2017 Asiatic Bittersweet, Japanese Barberry, Himalayan Balsam: An exotic list, and one that members of the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) have come to know well. As more non-native, invasive plants are identified along roadsides and on public properties, HIPP has taken the initiative to educate […]

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Disposing of Invasive Plants in Harpswell

By Jeff Stann Invasive plants can be a nuisance, and disposing of them must be done carefully. Their seeds, roots, and other parts can re-sprout, and form new plants and make homeowners’ lives difficult. Here’s some advice from the A. Dennis Moore Recycling and Transfer Station and the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership. Invasive plants are […]

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Invasive Plants Found in Harpswell

The following list of plants were found in HIPP’s surveys in 2015 and 2016. For more about HIPP, click here. Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculata)Autumn Olive (Eleagnus umbellata)Bishop’s Weed or Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)Black Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae)Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus)Common Reed (Phragmites australis)Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)Himalayan Touch-me-not (Impatiens […]

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Weeds Gone Wild

By Judith Stanton The Harpswell Invasive Plants Partnership has declared all systems go in the launch of its survey and mapping project. A group made up of representatives from Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, Conservation Commission, Town Lands Committee, Mitchell Field Committee and others interested in stewardship of our natural community, has spent the past 14 […]

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