Projects & Success Stories of Big Scrub CISMA (Formally Lake County CISMA)

Aquatic CEU and Workday, February 6, 2013

The Lake County CISMA partnered with the Lake County Agricultural Extension Office to host a CEU class and Workday at the Lake County Ag. Center. After learning to identify both native and exotic, aquatic plant species volunteers waded into a small demonstration pond at the Ag. Center and got some real world experience removing exotics.

Natural Areas CEU Day, March 22, 2013

The Lake County CISMA partnered with the Lake County Agricultural Extension Office to host a Natural Areas CEU class at the Lake County Ag. Center.

Lake/Sumter State College Workday, October 18, 2013

On Friday, October 18, 2013 the Lake County CISMA did a boardwalk clean-up at the Lake/Sumter State College. The College has participated with the CISMA for years helping to host educational workshops and filling the ranks on workdays. Pete’s Preserve is a boardwalk on campus that transverses an area of wetlands. Unfortunately the wetlands had become infested with invasive plants such as primrose willow, Chinese tallow, air potato and Japanese climbing fern. Students and CISMA Volunteers hand pulled the majority of the exotic biomass, and when we were finished a couple of certified herbicide applicators sprayed a few things like the climbing fern.

Tavares Nature Park Workshop/Workday, November 15, 2013

CISMA Members, along with a group of Master Gardeners from Lake County Agricultural Extension Office and the City of Tavares Parks Department met at the Tavares Nature Park for an invasive/exotic plant ID walk and stayed to practice some removal techniques. The City of Tavares sponsored a hot dog cookout to thank participants.

March 3, 2012 – Lake Dorr Campground Air Potato Round-Up

On Saturday morning, Lake County CISMA members and volunteers collected 500 pounds of air potatoes and 40 pounds of trash form the Lake Dorr Campground located in Ocala National Forest. Staff from the National Forest had treated the air potato infestation and the Lake county CISMA used this opportunity to collect the “potatoes” in order to reduce the re-growth and to educate the public about the importance of controlling invasive, exotic species in our natural areas. We would like to thank our CISMA members and members of the public that came out to help.

Success and Highlights from 2009

April 19th, 2009 Tavares Nature Park Work Day

Press Release -

Tavares, FL – Staff members from various government agencies and interested individuals have come together to form the Lake County “Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area” or CISMA group. The objective of this group is to promote the control of exotic invasive species in Lake County and to provide education to the public regarding the negative effects of exotics on the local native plants and animals. Group members include staff from Lake County Public Lands and Parks and Trails, University of Florida Agricultural Extension Service, The Nature Conservancy, Lake County Water Authority, Trout Lake Nature Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. The initial meeting was at Trout Lake Nature Center in February.

The CISMA group is now teaming up with the City of Tavares to host a workday at the Tavares Nature Park on Wednesday, April 29th, 9:00 am. Members of CISMA will conduct a training session with the City staff on controlling invasives and provide educational information to the public on native and non-native species. The workday will allow City staff to work side-by-side with County staff to combat exotics at this environmentally sensitive City Park. The general public and over 286 nearby neighbors are being invited to volunteer and provide assistance in identifying exotics at the park and hand removing the smaller species.

Brazilian pepper, primrose willow, camphor, Chinese tallow, and Ceasar’s weed are on the workday “hit list.”


Lauren Brothers, Coordinator,
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Group,
Environmental Technician, Public Lands, Lake County, 352-253-4971

Tamera Rogers, Community Services Director,
City of Tavares, 352-742-6338