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May 11, 2018 10:00 PM

Newton Hills State Park Monitoring Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer has arrived in eastern KELOLAND, and it has many people wondering how to protect their ash trees. One spot proactively taking steps to keep the insect away is Newton Hills State Park south of Canton, South Dakota.

Ash trees grow in the park, so on Friday KELOLAND News caught up with management to see how they're taking action after the emerald ash borer was discovered in Sioux Falls about 40 miles away.

It's a green feast for the eyes at Newton Hills State Park, not far from where the emerald ash borer was found in northern Sioux Falls.

"We're pretty lucky, we got a big diversity of trees, we are going to be affected too by it, we have some areas that are pretty heavily populated with ash trees," said Luke Dreckman, assistant park manager with Newton Hills State Park.

Park employees will now be on high alert. 

"We're just going to monitor it for now, look for signs and symptoms, and possibly removing the ones that we need to if it comes down to it," Dreckman said.

If firewood comes from a quarantined area, it's not allowed in Newton Hills State Park.

"Everybody when they come in, they're supposed to checking in to the front office, and when they check in, it gives us a perfect time to be able to ask them some questions and maybe see if they have any wood with them," Dreckman said.

Monitoring the firewood means checking in with the park's intended visitors, so everyone can keep out the unwelcome one. 

"Keeping an eye on vehicles coming in, or where they're coming from, based off of registrations and asking individuals if they have, are bringing firewood in with them, and trying, if we have to, go and check it out," Dreckman said.

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