RSABG Hosts Invasive Plants and Pathogen Workshop

The Garden Hosts Workshop to Help Public Garden Professionals Detect Invasive Plants and Pathogens

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is hosting the Sentinel Plant Network’s western region workshop to engage public gardens, volunteers and visitors in the early detection of invasive plant pests and pathogens that threaten plant conservation efforts.

The workshop, to be held December 5 and 6, 2011, will bring together a cross section of American Public Gardens Association (APGA) member gardens from across the western U.S.

“This workshop is an important part of larger efforts to secure and protect the health of our agricultural and natural ecosystems,” said Patrick Larkin, RSABG executive director. “We’re excited to be part of this first line of defense against emerging disease and insect threats to our plants.”

Sentinel Plant Network (SPN), a collaboration of the American Public Gardens Association and the National Diagnostic Network, contributes to plant conservation by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens.

Workshop sessions, field trips and hands-on training will focus on contemporary and cutting-edge approaches for detection and diagnosis of plant health issues and help train the next generation of plant health professionals.

The December workshop at RSABG is one of five SPN regional workshops that aim to provide public garden professionals with guidance on how best to access National Plant Diagnostic Network diagnostic resources and exercises on the best practices of pest and pathogen scouting, reporting, sample collection and submission.

Bart O’Brien, RSABG director of special projects, will help lead one of the “pest walks” that will show participants skills for pest and pathogen scouting efforts.

Twenty-two public garden institutions are sending one or two staff members who can coordinate pest and pathogen-scouting efforts within their organization’s collections and natural areas and/or incorporate SPN educational materials into their organization’s public educational outreach efforts enabling visitors and volunteers to acts as citizen scientists, monitoring their neighborhoods for potential pest and pathogen threats.

 

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Read more about the regional workshops at APGA's Sentinel Plant Network webpage.