Who We Are....
This website is an all-volunteer, non-profit effort to get critical information about Japanese knotweed to the people and organizations who need it most. My hope is that it will become the grassroots basis for the North American Knotweed Network, a communication and information framework that will allow North Americans and The World to get ahead of the knotweed invasion and spare millions of people expensive repairs and treatment.
In 2015, I was working as the Tall Grass and Weeds Inspector for The City of Kalamazoo, MI. The case of a resident who had been calling the City about “crazy bamboo” for years came to my desk, and with the help of local resources, we identified it as Japanese knotweed. With further research, it was revealed to be an invading nightmare that had quietly taken over the UK. As I continued inspections in city limits as part of my job, knotweed kept appearing. Before long I had mapped over 300 locations in the City of Kalamazoo alone. Traveling in Ohio I saw mountains of the stuff growing between roads. It wasn’t long before I found it growing through old foundations, in walls, and INTO buildings in Kalamazoo. People have sent me pictures of similar damage from across the country.
“But why is no one talking about it?!” became a constant question from people I tried to help. And if I’ve learned anything from studying heroism and science fiction (respectfully), it’s that sometimes you’ve got to be the “someone” who does it.
So here I am, like Frodo, taking the Ring to Mordor. And by that I mean: I’m going to do whatever I can to get the word out. Like a pioneer, I’m diving into the research for my own interest but clearing the way so it will be easier for those who come after me. I’m like Paul Revere, sounding the alarm: “The knotweed is coming! The knotweed is coming!” And like the doctor from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, warning the big city, “Something must be done before it’s too late! You’re next!”
So explore these resources and come to your own conclusion about the threat knotweed poses to world infrastructure. That’s what it’s here for. 😊
Progress Made So Far....
(accepted) Upper Midwest Invasive Species Joint Conference with the North American Invasive Species Management Association, October 15-18, 2018 - Mayo Civic Center - Rochester, MN
Montcalm County Commission Meeting, September 24, 2018
Montcalm Township Meeting, June 19, 2018
Montcalm Master Gardeners- April 2018
Van Buren County Conservation District Invasive Species Seminar- March 2018
County Road Commission (Michigan) Highway Conference- March 2018
Mid Michigan CISMA Municipal Invasive Species Trainings- February 2018
City of Kalamazoo Environmental Concerns Committee (update)- September 2017
Van Buren County Conservation District: Japanese knotweed Symposium - April 2016
Mid Michigan CISMA Municipal Invasive Species Trainings 2017
Green Drinks Kalamazoo Meeting - April 2016
Calhoun County - 2017
Van Buren County Conservation District: Japanese knotweed Symposium - Sept 2015
City of Kalamazoo Environmental Concerns Committee - 2015
Portage Environmental Board - 2015
American Public Works Association Magazine: The Reporter
(Keep in mind that there may be misinterpretation/misquoting. That’s just how it goes. And information changes as new research comes forward. To be clear on one often misquoted point, Japanese knotweed is reportedly not able to be eradicated in a SHORT TERM (3-5 year) treatment, but SIZE is a factor, and CONTROL is possible. If it’s only a few canes, it should to be easier to kill than if it were an established acre+ stand, which is why early detection is so important. Certain herbicides ARE effective for CONTROL, so I am not discouraging their use, just trying to underline that any perceived “success” must be given time and observation to be proven. This plant will “play dead”.)
Second Wave Media (West Michigan)
WMUK NPR (West Michigan)
Hastings Banner (West Michigan)
County Road Association of Michigan Quarterly Journal (State)
The Municipal Magazine (National/Regional)
The Daily News (Montcalm and Ionia Counties, MI)
City of Kalamazoo added Knotweed to its site plan review requirements. (pg. 144)