The Southern Indiana Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) celebrating four years of accomplishments this month at their annual meeting in Paoli. Almost 50 partners and members of the organization gathered to learn more about invasive plants.

The group also took time to recognize some of the outstanding members of their group.  A Business Partner of the Year for 2012 Award was given to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources whose employees have worked in many facets across southern Indiana to help with the battle against invasives.  Employees from several divisions of IDNR were on hand to accept the award.

The Local Partner of the Year for 2012 was the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).  Troy Hinkle and Ray Chattin accepted the award on behalf of their SWCD. Knox County SWCD has long been a dedicated partner with the CWMA but this year has implemented an aggressive survey of their county to locate invasive plants.

Tom Tremain, CWMA President also gave two individual awards. He awarded Ron Rathfon the President’s Award for 2012 for his consistent leadership to the CWMA over the years and tireless efforts to educate folks on controlling invasive species. Tremain also recognized Richard Lyons, a CWMA member and volunteer for his outstanding effort and initiative.  Richard was among the first in Indiana to recognize the problem of invasive Japanese Chaff Flower along the Ohio River and initiated several valuable efforts to make Chaff Flower control a priority for the CWMA.

The CWMA steering committee also recognized Tom Tremain for his leadership of the CWMA and presented him with an award for his years of dedication to the organization. The Southern Indiana CWMA is a grass-roots organization committed to preventing and/or controlling alien invasive species in southern Indiana. The group has already made a difference by using the expertise, energy and resources of partner organizations and tapping into new funding sources for more effective and efficient control and prevention programs.

Jon Behrman, the CWMA’s new Project Director, also unveiled a new smartphone app that makes Invasive Species reporting as easy as clicking a few buttons on your phone.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Southern Indiana CWMA can contact Jon Behrman, Executive Director of the Southern Indiana CWMA at edrr@sicwma.org or call 812-797-8783. They can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sicwma or on the web at sicwma.org.

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