St. Charles, MN (KROC-AM News) - A group of students from the Plainview-Elgin-Millville Junior High School uncovered an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer during a recent field trip to Whitewater State Park.

The discovery by 125 seventh graders was confirmed by a Department of Natural Resources Specialist and marked the first time the tree-killing insect has been found in the State Park near St. Charles. The area is already under an EAB quarantined because of previously identified infestations in Winona County.

The DNR says the students were examining trees in a campground and noted several showed signs that may be associated with EAB. One of the trees stood out and when they group of the students peaked under the bark they spotted the telltale s-shaped grooves left by the tiny green beetle’s larvae.

The Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and has since spread to 14 counties, including Olmsted County, which was placed under and EAB quarantine in 2014.

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