By Brianne Zorn, KBGF Executive Director
The Sentinel Plant Network contributes to plant conservation by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers, and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens.
What is a “high consequence” pest or pathogen? They are serious diseases and pests that are identified based on their ability to cause severe disease in plants, their ability to spread rapidly, and the potential for devastating economic losses if left unchecked. These high consequence pests and pathogens could affect agriculture or natural resources.
To date, sitings of these high consequence pests and pathogens are few and far between. As part of the Sentinel Plant Network, Kruckeberg Botanic Garden has committed to keeping a trained eye out for these pests and pathogens as the first line of defense and prevention.
As part of the training we attended, we were provided with a variety of educational materials to help us identify high consequence pests and pathogens. KBGF will be hosting additional “First Detector” trainings on this effort in the coming months, so stay tuned. If you have any questions about the training, or ways that you can get additional information, check here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/index.shtml.