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Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve to hold free public workshop about Emerald Ash Borer awareness and identification, on August 30, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - The Vassar College Farm and Ecological Preserve will hold a Citizen Science and Forest Pest Training about the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect pest posing a significant threat to local forests, on Thursday, August 30, from 5:30-6:45pm. This training is free and open to the public, and participants should meet at the Collins Field Station on the Farm and Ecological Preserve, across from the southern edge of the main Vassar campus  (farm.vassar.edu).

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive Asian beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), these beetles have destroyed more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since their first discovery in the United States in Michigan in 2002. One colony of the borer was identified in Dutchess County this past spring, and among several activities the workshop will provide an update on the beetle’s status in the county, as well as explain the ecological impacts that loss of the ash tree will have on our landscape.

Participants in the training will also learn how to use Project Noah, a free software application to record observations and contribute to ongoing research via mobile devices and computers. In addition, a DEC forester will discuss how to identify other pests like the Ash Borer that are the greatest threats to local forests. For more information contact Keri VanCamp at (845) 437-7414 and kevancamp@vassar.edu.

About the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve

The mission of the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. Increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve are promoted through field-based education and research. Historically, the land was a working farm providing milk, pork, and vegetables to the Vassar College dining halls until 1957. In the proceeding years, the farm was established as an ecological preserve for study and research, and at 527.5 acres it remains one of the few expansive open spaces in Poughkeepsie. The land currently includes wooded trails, open meadows, sports fields, and space for such organizations as the Poughkeepsie Farm Project. A wide variety of other college and public activities also take place at the location

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, August 17, 2012