Volunteers needed for woodpecker survey

Volunteers are being sought for a survey aimed at detecting emerald ash borers.

Researchers have found a strong correlation between heavy woodpecker activity in ash trees in late winter and presence of emerald ash borer larvae.

Emerald ash borers have been confirmed in Shoreview, within 30 miles of Sherburne County. Early detection is key to successful mitigation of the damaging effects of an infestation. To that end the Sherburne Soil and  Water Conservation District is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to conduct a volunteer survey that would look for signs of infestation – namely woodpecker activity in late March and early April. Training will be held on Monday, Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway.

Training will cover ash tree identification, emerald ash borer life cycle and identification, and an outdoor field training. Binoculars are required for survey work and training; each volunteer must furnish a pair for their own use. If you are interested in volunteering and attending the training please contact Gina Hugo at [email protected] or 763-241-1170 ext. 101. Registration deadline is Feb. 17.