MIPN Mission Statement

Our mission is to reduce the impact of invasive plant species in the Midwest.


Geographic Focus

MIPN primarily works with partners in the upper Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and the Province of Ontario, Canada.


History & Background

The formation of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network was initiated by about ninety people attending an Invasive Species Symposium hosted by the Chicago Botanic Garden in October of 2002. A second meeting was held at the Natural Areas Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, in September of 2003 to further develop the MIPN concept and create organizational focus areas. These focal areas were further solidified in a strategic vision in 2009 and include the following:

  • Developing invasive species spread prevention measures, particularly those that engage the green (nursery and landscape) industry
  • Promoting early detection and rapid response programs and methods
  • Promoting consistent regional methods for inventorying, monitoring, and tracking invasive plants and encouraging cross-boundary data sharing
  • Serving as a bridge between the research and land-management communities by compiling and sharing research findings with land-managers and communicating research needs observed by partners in the field to research institutions
  • Developing regional outreach and education, including publications and conferences
  • Cultivating sustainable financial support for MIPN and its mission

As a regional network, MIPN draws on the knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm of a diverse group of participants and partners. MIPN’s full-time Coordinator position is funded through both federal and private funding sources, including membership contributions. The Morton Arboretum is MIPN’s fiscal sponsor, providing administrative and accounting services. The Nature Conservancy of Indiana, Purdue University, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources each played a major role in MIPN’s development over the years.


Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) collaborates to reduce the impact of invasive plant species in the region due to the wide range of negative impacts invasives are known to have on native species, ecosystems, and human health.  Specifically, one of the greatest threats invasives pose is the establishment of “monocultures”; a single species which dominates an entire ecosystem.  This reduction in overall biodiversity leads to decreased function, resiliency, and health, and potentially cascading impacts beyond the immediate site or system. The same need for diversity is true of MIPN itself, as homogeneity of the organization will lead to a lack of diversity in perspective, partnerships, and ultimately solutions to both identify the harms caused by, and develop solutions to abate, the myriad of invasive species threats at a region-wide scale.  As such, MIPN is fully committed to building an inclusive and equitable organization whereby memberships, partners, and projects are as diverse as the native landscapes we seek to protect.