Indiana State Parks and DNR Employee Honored for Invasive Species Management

Indianapolis, IN (July 1, 2024) — Indiana State Parks and a dedicated Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employee were recently recognized for their outstanding contributions to managing invasive species. The accolades were presented by the State of Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM) at the Indiana Invasives Species Conference, held at Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park.

Indiana State Parks received the Partner of the Year award from SICIM, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting, restoring, and enhancing Indiana’s landscapes through coordinated efforts to manage invasive species. The award highlights the significant efforts made by Indiana State Parks in eradicating invasive species and improving habitat diversity. Last year, the parks managed 12,000 acres using a variety of methods, including prescribed fires, invasive removal contracts, and seasonal removal crews, as well as organizing Weed Wrangles® in partnership with SICIM.

Will Drews, a nursery inspector and compliance officer with the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology, was also honored at the conference. Drews, who has served on the SICIM board for nine years and was the board’s chair from 2019 to 2023, received a departing board member award. Throughout his tenure, Drews provided technical assistance to SICIM employees and various cooperative invasive species management areas (CISMAs) and contributed to several SICIM committees. He previously served as the board’s vice chair and secretary.

“Will has been a key part of moving SICIM to the successful organization it is today,” said Teena Ligman, the current SICIM secretary.

The awards were presented by SICIM’s Troy Hinkle, with Anthony Sipes, Natural Resource Manager of Indiana State Parks, accepting the Partner of the Year award on behalf of Indiana State Parks. Photos from the event show Sipes and Drews with their respective awards.

For more information on invasive species management, visit DNR’s invasive species page.

For additional DNR news releases, please see DNR’s news page.

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