by Janet Klein
Each year at its annual meeting, Cal-IPC honors members who have shown exceptional dedication and creativity in protecting California’s wildlands from invasive plants, and this year MMWD’s own Andrea Williams was among the honorees. Andrea received the Ryan Jones Catalyst Award, “for creatively spearheading actions or creating partnerships that make exceptional progress in protecting California from invasive plants.” Specifically, Andrea was recognized for her role as a founding member of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN).
BAEDN is a collaborative partnership of regional land managers, invasive species experts and concerned citizens. BAEDN coordinates Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) to infestations of invasive plants, proactively dealing with new outbreaks before they can grow into large and costly environmental threats. This “stitch-in-time” approach prevents the environmental and economic damage caused by these invaders; educates citizens regarding natural resource stewardship; and dramatically reduces the need for the planning and resources required to control large, established invasive plant populations. BAEDN currently boasts 83 federal, state and local partners. Here at MMWD, staff and volunteers participate in BAEDN through the district’s Weed Watcher Program.
It should also be noted that Andrea was the most “decorated” attendee at this, the 20th annual Cal-IPC conference. She was festooned with ribbons for her many roles as Cal-IPC board member, conference sponsor, staffer, presenter and award winner. Andrea—your colleagues here at MMWD salute you!