Lesson Five: Arrest that Pest!
How to "NABB" your community's attention and raise awareness of "emerald ash borer - the green menace!"
Youth will be able to:
- Identify ash trees
- Answer basic biology questions about the Emerald Ash Borer and explain why it is a threat to ash trees
By making ash trees visible to the general public, the NABB (Neighbors Against Bad Bugs) program encourages communities and individuals to make good choices about their ash trees before the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) arrives. This can help save money and protect tree canopy. This activity serves as a culmination of what youth have learned.
Purpose of Lesson:
To galvanize volunteer youth groups to combat invasive insects (specifically EAB) that destroy trees in a highly visible and very economical tree tagging awareness campaign.
- Before you begin planning your NABB (Neighbors Against Bad Bugs) event, please visit: http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/arrestthatpest/dev/index.php?page=part1/index to learn more about associated resources and materials that are available to you from Purdue University and your county's ANR Extension Educator.
- Choose a neighborhood, public playground, park, or school yard in your community for your group's tree tagging event - try to choose one based upon proximity and level of public visibility of the sight.
- Determine possible dates for the event - include rain dates if possible.
- Once you have determined a few possible dates, contact the president of the neighborhood association, or the city arborist or forester to make them aware of your plans. Ask them if there are any conflicts of which you may be unaware, or if there is any information that you should know before proceeding with your plan to bring youth in to tag ash trees.
- Once the tree tagging site and date have been chosen, contact your ANR County Extension Educator for the tree tags and tape or ribbon that will be needed to tag ash trees in the area you have chosen. In addition, you can enlist the help of the county educator to contact Master Gardeners who might be interested in volunteering for the event.
Materials and Resources
- Copies of the one page Ash Tree Identification Guide
- Tree tags
- Flagging tape
- Scissors, one pair per team
- Measuring tape (if you plan to measure DBH for an inventory)*
- Tree inventory sheet (if appropriate)
- Pencils, markers
- Stick-on name tags
* If the youth group you are working with is old enough to prepare a tree inventory for use in the classroom or to submit to a neighborhood association or city arborist or forester, it will be important for them to measure trees by their "DBH" or "diameter at breast height." This figure can be calculated by measuring the circumference of the tree at 4'-6" and dividing that measure by 3.
People in most communities have no idea how many ash trees there are along their streets and in their public parks - they often take the trees for granted and are surprised at the number of ash trees there are and how much they contribute to their quality of life. Hosting a public tree tagging event provides people with a visual symbol of the how many ash trees are at risk to the Emerald Ash Borer in their yards and neighborhoods and the magnitude of the problem.
Youth have learned a lot about the biology of the Emerald Ash Borer, how to identify ash trees, and how EAB infests and kills these trees. The next step is to demonstrate the information they have learned to members of their local community by hosting a tree tagging event!
- Once all details of the event have been finalized, give your youth group all the information and have them create a bulletin or announcement to promote the event to people in the area. A sample announcement for your group's tree tagging event can be found at: http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/eab/pdf/NABBSampleAnnouncement.pdf. Be sure to include all relevant information.
- In order to call attention to your effort, coordinate with media contacts to promote the event.
- To find a Guideline for Engaging Local Media and a Media Worksheet, please visit: http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/eab/pdf/tipsForEngagingLocalMediaForYourNAABAshTreeTaggingEvent.pdf
- Consult your County Extension Educator if you have questions
- Conduct a preliminary walk through of the area that has been chosen, marking ash trees on your site map as you go. Use this as a reference on the day of the event.
- Enlist the help of interested parent volunteers and Master Gardeners; be sure to send them a copy of the courtesy announcement. Send out permission slips if necessary - remind all volunteers to dress for the weather.
- Organize and transport materials to the site. Include drinks and snacks if appropriate.
- Once everyone arrives, make introductions of adult volunteers (adult helpers, parents, Master Gardeners) if necessary and provide an overview of why you are doing the event, a quick review of the characteristics of ash, and a tagging demonstration.
- Divide group into teams, and assign an area or route. Provide each team with a package containing a clipboard, ash identification sheet, inventory sheet (if you will be doing an inventory) tags, tape, pencil, and scissors to each team.
- After teams have finished with their assigned route or area, have them return to the central meeting point.
- Within one to two weeks return to the site to remove and dispose of tags and tape.
Closure and Assessment:
When the large group reconvenes after the tree tagging event, discuss the number of trees tagged and what youth learned from the event.
- Present a brief presentation to the neighborhood association in which you hosted your tree tagging event.
- If your group inventoried the ash trees, graph the number of ash trees verses other trees in a pie chart or bar graph. Calculate the percentage.
- Investigate what trees might be suitable as alternatives for this site if trees were removed. Once the right tree has been selected for the right spot, learn the proper way to plant a tree.
- Investigate community grant opportunities to purchase trees for replanting. Please consult http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-433-W.pdf for information on how to choose the right tree for the right spot.