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Summer campers at the Oakland Nature Preserve excitedly pose for the ’Newspaper Lady’ before heading off on their trek to release air-potato leaf beetles around the preserve. The aim is to use the beetles to curb the growth of the invasive air-potato vine

PHOTO GALLERY: Oakland Nature Preserve summer camp uses beetles to combat weed

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Summer campers at the Oakland Nature Preserve excitedly pose for the ’Newspaper Lady’ before heading off on their trek to release air-potato leaf beetles around the preserve. The aim is to use the beetles to curb the growth of the invasive air-potato vine

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Ten years olds Ava Schiraldi and Carmen Aguileira curiously observe one of containers holding dozens of air potato leaf beetles that they will release into the preserve.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Ten years olds Ava Schiraldi and Carmen Aguileira curiously observe one of containers holding dozens of air potato leaf beetles that they will release into the preserve.

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After being educated on the harmful effects of air-potato vines in a classroom, summer campers from first to sixth grade trek through the Oakland Nature Preserve releasing the beetles in areas overgrown with the species.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

After being educated on the harmful effects of air-potato vines in a classroom, summer campers from first to sixth grade trek through the Oakland Nature Preserve releasing the beetles in areas overgrown with the species.

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Air-potato leaf beetles released into the preserve chomp away at the air potato plants, which were added to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Noxious Weed List in 1999.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Air-potato leaf beetles released into the preserve chomp away at the air potato plants, which were added to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Noxious Weed List in 1999.

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Alissa Himelfarb, the education coordinator at Oakland Nature Preserve, hands out the beetles to the summer campers so they can place them on the air potato’s leaves.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Alissa Himelfarb, the education coordinator at Oakland Nature Preserve, hands out the beetles to the summer campers so they can place them on the air potato’s leaves.

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Ava Schiraldi, 10, gleefully plays with an air potato leaf beetle before releasing it.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Ava Schiraldi, 10, gleefully plays with an air potato leaf beetle before releasing it.

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Lucia Schiraldi, 5, and Aubry Sabat, 6, joyfully display a leaf nearly completely consumed by the air potato beetles.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Lucia Schiraldi, 5, and Aubry Sabat, 6, joyfully display a leaf nearly completely consumed by the air potato beetles.

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Aurora Tysall, 5, holds up the roots of an air potato she pulled from the ground. Air potatos change the chemistry of the soil, killing off the surrounding flora native to Florida which cannot survive in the modified soil.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Aurora Tysall, 5, holds up the roots of an air potato she pulled from the ground. Air potatos change the chemistry of the soil, killing off the surrounding flora native to Florida which cannot survive in the modified soil.

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Bella Rogers, 11, holds up all the air potato weeds she uprooted and plans to throw in the trash.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Bella Rogers, 11, holds up all the air potato weeds she uprooted and plans to throw in the trash.

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Mariana Moncada, 7, thumps the plastic container holding the air potato leaf beetles to make sure they all are released into the preserve.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Mariana Moncada, 7, thumps the plastic container holding the air potato leaf beetles to make sure they all are released into the preserve.

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Alissa Himelfarb, the education coordinator at Oakland Nature Preserve, hands an air potato leaf crawling with the red beetles to Tommy Beier.

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 |

Alissa Himelfarb, the education coordinator at Oakland Nature Preserve, hands an air potato leaf crawling with the red beetles to Tommy Beier.

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