SOUTH HAVEN — South Haven area residents will have the opportunity next week to learn what two organizations are doing to protect the environment.

South Haven Public Works Department and Van Buren Conservation District are teaming up Monday to host an open house to explain their goal of keeping drinking water safe, promoting recycling programs and detecting and treating invasive species, according to a news release.

The open house will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at the DPW, 1199 8th Ave., South Haven.

“From recycling to invasive species, the District is always busy and always getting questions,” said A.J. Brucks, director of the Conservation District, in the release. “We’re excited to team up with the DPW to talk about the programs that both organizations are working on for residents in the area.”

Topics that will be discussed include: ongoing waterline surveys and maintenance; invasive species detection and treatment; recycling opportunities in Van Buren County; water quality and testing information; and free tire recycling opportunities. Participants are always invited to bring in photos of plants they think are invasive species to determine the best ways to stop them from spreading.

As the DPW expands programs to manage invasive species such and knotweed and phragmites, its staff and the conservation district hope residents can help in mapping where to find those plants.

“Species like knotweed and phragmites are of special concern, since they can cause infrastructural issues, as well as damaging our environment,” said Nor Serocki, coordinator for the local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA). “The CISMA is excited to partner with the DPW and share our data, but these plants are often in people’s yards or in hard-to-reach areas like ravines, which is why we depend so much on citizens reporting them as well.”

Maps will be available at the meeting for attendees to mark invasive species locations, but Serocki also points people to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network, or MISIN. This database, created by MSU, allows citizen scientists to report invasive species from their phones or computers, creating maps that managers like those at the CISMA and DPW use to plan management.