Maple Plain camper Arville Halvorson loves being in the outdoors with his family. But poison ivy is certainly not a treasured part of this pastime. “Scratchy, itchy, stingy pain. I don’t want it,” Halvorson said. But it seems people around the metro are getting it, according to Dr. April Farrell of Doctor’s Skin Care in Orono. “We’ve been seeing a lot of that in our clinic this summer. Kind of speculating that the weather we had this spring – with all the rain and then the heat – has possibly led to some different growth patterns and increased exposure for people,” Dr. Farrell said.
Along Frontenac State Park’s pristine grasses and wildflowers is an unwanted guest. It’s wild parsnip, an invasive species that threatens to spread across the state, leaving anyone who comes in contact with it dealing with pain surpassing any poison ivy encounter.