The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will be hosting their fourth annual Invasive Plant Round-Up on Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Come learn about the most damaging invasive plants in southwestern Oklahoma and help Refuge staff remove eastern red cedar, common mullein, musk thistle, prickly lettuce and other invasive plants.

The Refuge protects a rare piece of the past – an island of habitat where the natural grasslands escaped destruction because rocks underfoot made it difficult to plow. Invasive species, however, are a growing problem at the Refuge and surrounding lands. Invasive plants are those that have not evolved here. They have no natural predators and once their seeds are established they quickly grow and overtake large amounts of land, depriving native species of sunlight, water and the important nutrients they need to grow. Removing the invasive plants to allow the native vegetation to return is especially important to the wildlife that depends on this habitat.

Join us in the effort to bring back the native flora and fauna. Hand tools will be provided but wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, sturdy boots, work gloves, and bring water. Transportation will be provided to some work areas where as some groups will caravan/carpool in their own vehicles to designated sites. Lunch will be provided by the Friends of the Wichitas at the Refuge’s Environmental Education Center.

For more information and to pre-register, contact Quinton Smith at Quinton_Smith@fws.gov or 580-429-2110.

The Refuge is located 25 miles northwest of Lawton, Oklahoma. From Interstate 44, take exit 45 west 10 miles to the Refuge gate. If coming in from Highway 62, take Highway 115 (Cache exit) north to the Refuge gate. Registration and orientation will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Refuge Visitor Center.