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Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA), The City of Oneonta, and the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) are combining to hold an Invasive Species Teach-In on Saturday, July 14 from 11am to 3pm at the small pavilion in Wilber Park, Oneonta. The event is free and open to everyone.

“We’re very excited to be offering this new program,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “

Local botanist and OCCA board member Donna Vogler and her team of students from SUNY Oneonta will share their expertise about invasive plants with displays, activities, and a plant identification booth. Attendees will learn how to report infestations and what is being done to control them. In addition, there will be a nature walk focused on urban forestry and invasive plants at noon. Activities will be ongoing throughout the day.

“One of the highlights will be the identification station,” O’Handley said. “If you have a suspicious plant, you can either bring a good quality cellphone photo or the plant itself, tightly sealed in a Ziploc bag, for identification. Suspicious insects can also be brought for later identification, provided it is in a baggie and has been frozen overnight.”

Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to an area and cause or are likely to cause harm to the environment, the economy, and human health. In the United States, invasive species are responsible for approximately $120 billion dollars a year in damages.

The Invasive Species Teach-In is free and open to the public. For information, visit occainfo.org.