Raising EAB Awareness in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
2014 | Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The purpose of this project is twofold. First, it will serve to educate the community and the visiting public in Great Smoky Mountains National Park about the threat that emerald ash borer (EAB) poses to the ash resource of one of the most diverse ecosystems in temperate North America, as well as the role that firewood movement has played in rapid distribution of EAB and the importance of buying local or certified pest free firewood. Additionally, the project will demonstrate to the public how EAB can be managed in high value ash trees, thereby preserving the resource and maintaining public safety. The education programs will include a treatment education component demonstrating the equipment and methods used to treat EAB. The programs are estimated to reach several hundred visitors, park volunteers, and local government officials and business leaders.The goals of the project are to communicate to the public the value of ash, how they can help reduce the risk of spread of EAB, and how high value ash trees can be treated for aesthetic and ecological values and for public safety.
The education program was delivered to more than 530 park visitors who learned to about the value of ash trees, how they can help reduce the risk of spread of EAB, and how high value ash trees can be treated for aesthetic and ecological values and for public safety. Sixty high value ash trees were treated for EAB. The education component of the project also included information about firewood and its role in transporting forest pests. The educational outreach will continue with forest pests as a topic in ranger programs and through printed and electronic media.
The TREE Fund grant allowed us to develop and deliver a new program with a specific emphasis on public education of emerald ash borer and the importance of clean firewood.