NATIVE PLANT GROUP TAKES ROOT IN NORTHEAST INDIANA

New INPAWS Chapter Creates Opportunities for Conservation, Stewardship, and Study

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, May 31, 2016—The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS) announces the formation of a new regional chapter: Northeast INPAWS (NEINPAWS). The INPAWS state organization officially recognized the new regional chapter in May 2016. NEINPAWS serves Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties.

Northeast Indiana Benefits From New Chapter

INPAWS president, Jeff Pitts, welcomes the new chapter. “We have wanted a chapter in the northeast area for a while. An active and thriving chapter anchored in Indiana’s second largest city is crucial to promote the importance of native plants for healthy ecosystems.”

Previously, INPAWS members who lived in northeast Indiana were assigned membership into either the East Central or North regional chapters. Tom Hohman, INPAWS committee chair member, said this created problems. “Members in the northeast counties often traveled two to three hours for meetings or events. The new chapter fills a gap and allows for a more active local membership.”

Invasive species, like garlic mustard, autumn olive, and Asian bush honeysuckle, are choking out the plants that belong in Indiana. Betsy Yankowiak, newly elected president of NEINPAWS, says it’s time to fight back. “Now we can build a pool of volunteers and connect them to land managers of local parks, preserves, and natural spaces,” Yankowiak says. “We can help eradicate invasive species in a protected area or relocate sensitive native plants to allow them to thrive elsewhere.”

NEINPAWS Stages Its Inaugural Public Event

In addition to conservation and preservation, NEINPAWS will provide education. Its inaugural public event will be an exploratory hike uncovering the unusual nature of native ferns and mosses and the critical role they play in the ecosystem.

What: No Flowers? No Problem! The Weird World of Native Ferns and Mosses
When: July 29, 2016, at 6PM
Where: Metea County Park, 8401 Union Chapel Road, Fort Wayne, IN
Who: Led by Bob Dispenza, park and education manager, Metea County Park

A Who’s Who of the Local Native Plant Community

NEINPAWS board of directors and committee chairs feature experts from the area’s native plant community.
The leadership team includes:
 Betsy Yankowiak, president. Little River Wetlands Project, director of preserves and programs
 Sandra Lamp, vice president/program co-chair. Advanced Master Gardener and Indiana Master Naturalist
 Bob Streeter, treasurer. Advanced Master Gardener and Indiana Advanced Master Naturalist
 Ronnie Greenberg, secretary. B.S., M.S., Biology
 Janet Canino, communications director. Oak Farm Montessori School, sustainability coordinator
 Martha Ferguson, program co-chair. Riverview Native Nursery, owner
 Kate Sanders, stewardship/plant rescue coordinator. B.S., M.S., Biology
 Laura Stine, Grow Native representative. Laura Stine Gardens, owner

INPAWS’ mission is to promote the appreciation, preservation, conservation, utilization, and scientific study of the flora native to Indiana. Indiana is divided into these INPAWS regional chapters: Central, East Central, North, Northeast, South Central, Southwest, and West Central.

If you would like more information about NEINPAWS, email Janet Canino at northeast@inpaws.org.
###

Comments

    Amy Perry wrote on June 15, 2016

    This is good news! How is NEINPAWS pronounced?

Leave a Reply