By May 31, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

APIPP’s Summer Educator, Billy Martin, Hits the Ground Running

Billy Martin distributing ash tree tags in Saranac Lake.

Billy Martin is a recent graduate from Paul Smith’s College where he studied Natural Resource Management and Policy. He worked as a boat launch steward for the Adirondack Watershed Institute’s Watershed Stewardship Program for the last two summers where he literally and figuratively “got his feet wet” inspecting boats for aquatic invasive hitchhikers and raising awareness among the boating community about measures they can take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). APIPP welcomes him and looks forward to what his experience will bring to the team.
Billy has hit the ground running with a series of attended events. He assisted APIPP’s AIS Project Coordinator, Meghan Johnstone, with a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Campground Operations staff training in Indian Lake; staffed an invasive species information booth at Paddlefest in Old Forge; assisted APIPP’s Terrestrial Invasive Species Project  Coordinator, Brendan Quirion, with a DEC Forester and steward training at Pack Forest in Warrensburg; and assisted APIPP Director, Hilary Smith, with a presentation and training for the Essex County Garden Club at East Branch Organics in Keene.

Billy assisting with ash tree tagging.
Ezra Schwartzberg explaining an insect display.

His most recent event was this past Thursday, May 30th, when he participated in an Emerald Ash Borer outreach session with students from Children’s Corner Pre-school in Saranac Lake. Billy, along with US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer, Tom Colarusso, and Entomologist, Ezra Schwartzberg, talked with the group of enthusiastic preschoolers about the harmonious balance and interconnectedness between humans, plants, trees, and insects and how some exotic, invasive insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Long-horned Beetle can negatively impact the complex web of interdependencies of an ecosystem when introduced into a foreign environment. After the brief lecture, the students accompanied Billy, Tom, and Ezra to the village park near the Lake Flower Boat Launch where they helped tag ash trees to raise awareness about what we and the ecology of the Adirondack Forest stands to lose if the progression of EAB is not slowed. The EAB only progresses two miles per year under natural conditions. Therefore, it is critical that we don’t move firewood more than 50 miles from where it was harvested, avoid the use of shipping pallets made from ash trees whenever possible, and dispose of wood packaging materials responsibly!

Tom Colarusso discussing ash tree tags.

For more information on Emerald Ash Borer and other forest pests visit the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Special thanks to “Miss Jess” Zobel for coordinating and corralling her class to help with the ash tree tagging activity! 

Stay tuned for more action packed events as Billy takes over the APIPP blog and keeps readers informed and entertained.

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1 Comment on "APIPP’s Summer Educator, Billy Martin, Hits the Ground Running"

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Very informative and great environmental efforts by APIPP. Keep on educating the public!

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