Ohio River Foundation Receives $25K Grant for Region-wide Invasive Species Removal

CINCINNATI– The Ohio River Valley Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ORV CISMA) is getting a big boost as it works to turn back honeysuckle and other invasive plants and trees from overrunning the Tri-State. The ORV CISMA is a coalition of nonprofits, agencies, and businesses working to share information and resources to control and remove invasive species in a 22-county area in the Ohio River Valley. Ohio River Foundation (ORF), who coordinates the activities of ORV CISMA and originated the project in 2016, has received a $25,000 grant from the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation to support this effort.

“This grant will not only help us to expand CISMA resources, but it will be instrumental in helping us work toward our goal of reducing the invasive plant populations and seed bank in Greater Cincinnati, thus slowing the spread of these harmful plants and helping native species thrive,” said ORF Executive Director Rich Cogen. “With the resulting increased biodiversity, ecosystems become more resilient to a changing climate.”

Because invasive plants are expanding across our landscapes faster than people can stop them, a coordinated approach offers the best chance of managing their spread. Non-native invasive plants compete with and often crowd out native ones, leading to decreased biodiversity, poorer habitats for wildlife (including the pollinators that help our food supply), and lower water quality, among other issues. Examples of invasive plants in the Ohio River Valley include Amur Honeysuckle, Callery Pear, Autumn Olive, Lesser Celandine, and Wintercreeper.

With this grant, ORF can continue to expand CISMA resources for its member organizations and current invasive species removal initiatives. Current projects aimed at removing invasives include Ohio River Foundation and Cincinnati Parks’ efforts at Alms Park and ongoing habitat restoration work at Summit Park in Blue Ash and Kingswood Park in Deerfield Township.

Volunteer opportunities to help with these projects are listed on the ORV CISMA website. In addition, the website includes resources to help property owners who wish to remove invasives and plant natives.

ORV CISMA member organizations include Boone, Campbell and Kenton County Conservation Districts, Boone National Forest, Natorp’s Nursery, Great Parks of Hamilton County, Cincinnati Parks, Clermont County Park District, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Invasive Plant Council, Little Miami Conservancy, Oxbow Inc., Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, and Cincinnati Nature Center.

Of the 22 counties covered by the CISMA, nine are in Ohio (Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Highland, Montgomery, Scioto, and Warren); seven in Kentucky (Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton); and six in Indiana (Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley, Jefferson, and Switzerland).

For more information, visit the ORV CISMA website at https://orvcisma.org/.

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