As an Invasives Strike Force (ISF) Survey volunteer, you have the opportunity to become a forest health detective! ISF Survey volunteers are trained in the identification and reporting of invasive species by attending a fun and interactive webinar, complete with field ID footage, to help learn what key ID features to look for when out in the field. Volunteers are then assigned a section of trail to search for these invasive plants and have the entire summer and early fall to survey and report back to us.
Trail section assignments are individually tailored to make it easy and convenient for that volunteer to access, and each volunteer can survey their trail assignment on their own schedule. Our goal is to make it fun, educational, and convenient to help protect the land you love! Data from these community-powered surveys are utilized to help make management decisions to help fight the further spread of invasive species into our natural areas and to organize volunteer workdays to help with the removal of invasive plants.
Not only will you learn how to identify invasive plants as part of your ISF experience, but you will also learn how to use some user-friendly mobile apps to help identify many other types of native plants and wildlife that you are seeing along your hike or in your neighborhood. It truly takes the nature experience to the next level! Please sign up today!
In 2023, ISF surveyors will be identifying and reporting on:
Beech leaf disease (BLD)
Spotted lanternfly and its primary host, tree of heaven
Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA)
Monthly rotating invasive plant
This list of species will allow our staff and partners to rapidly respond to early detection reports and set the management agenda for 2024. The citizen science reporting structure will feel a little more like an exploratory hike!
As an Invasives Strike Force Surveyor volunteer...
You will be required to attend a species ID training to learn how to identify these invasive species
You will also attend a second training on how to collect and report data for the ISF including how to use two nature reporting apps- iMapInvasives and iNaturalist
After completing training, you will be assigned to a trail section (~2 miles long).
You then are free to explore your trail while identifying and mapping the invasive species you learned in training. This data collection can be completed within one outing or over several trips until you feel confident that you have identified all of the target species along your trail - but should be completed by the end of the summer.
After you have completed your trail section, you can ask to have another section assigned to you. You can map as many trail sections during the season as you have time for.
We would love to have your help! Check our Events Page regularly for part 1 and 2 trainings, as well as other relevant workshops and events!