Mich. park visitors asked to watch for invasives

LANSING, MI – Visitors to Michigan state parks and recreation areas are being invited to help watch for invasive plants.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment says the "Early Detection and Rapid Response" initiative aims to get more help in finding the first outbreaks of unwanted invasive plants.

This summer, the Japanese knotweed, black swallow-wort and garlic mustard are being targeted by the program. Invasive plants can crowd out native species and change the ecology of natural areas.

Organizers say the program will help speed measures aimed at eliminating invasive plants before they become widely established.

Details of how to report possible sightings are on the websites of the state and the Michigan Invasive Species Information Network.