District holding workday Feb. 25 to remove invasive air potatoes

~Workday is part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week~

PALATKA, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is holding a special workday Saturday, Feb. 25, to remove invasive air potato from its Deep Creek Conservation Area’s Edgefield tract in East Palatka. The workday is being held as an observance of National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2017, which is Feb. 27 through March 3.

What: Air potato removal workday

When: 9 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Deep Creek Conservation Area Edgefield tract, 473 C.R. 207A, East Palatka

 The district’s Invasive Plant Management Program is the first line of defense in the battle for maintaining control of nuisance aquatic vegetation and controlling nuisance upland vegetation to protect plant and animal communities. Air potato is among the top 10 invasive plants on our public lands.

The district has waived its prohibition on the removal of this type of vegetation from the property for the workday, and the public is invited to remove air potato bulbils during the activity.

The air potatoes — nonnative, invasive plants — that are gathered by staff will be used to help rear the bio-control air potato beetle and will help prepare for a release of the bio-control beetle in the spring.

For those interested in removing the air potatoes during the workday, staff recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes and a hat. Bring your gardening gloves, insect repellent, sunscreen, water bottle and snacks.

For information about the workday or nuisance vegetation, contact district Invasive Plant Program Supervisor Deborah Stone at dstone@sjrwmd.com or 386-643-1921.