Monday, February 27, 2012

10 Ways to Observe Nation Invasive Species Awareness Week

1. Do Some Research:  Get on the Internet and find out what’s invasive in your area, region or state. Identify which species might be growing in your backyard or neighborhood.  Visit to get started.

2. Join in an Eradication Effort: Many parks and nature reserves manually remove invasive plants (and sometimes animals) with the help of local volunteers. These outings are a great way to get some exercise, enjoy time outdoors, meet new friends, and gain the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping to protect your natural heritage.

3. Become a Citizen Scientist:  Whether you are collecting scientific data to be used by local, state, or national agencies and organizations or actually helping get rid of the invasive plants and animals, you will be able to see up close and personal the impacts of invasive species and the results of your efforts. Visit Citizen Science Central ( to learn more.

4. Visit a Garden, Park or Nature Center: Spend an afternoon at a botanic garden, park or natural area and familiarize yourself with the native flora and fauna in your area. See if a guided tour is offered.

5. Read a Book: Not an outdoor type?  Find a book and read up on the threats posed by invasive species.

6. Donate: If you can’t give time, you might be able to give money. Even small amounts can help local invasive species organizations with control and management and other costs.

7. Start a Garden: Replace your invasive landscape plants with native alternatives. Unlike many non-­‐native plants, native plants are hardy, less susceptible to pests and diseases and are unlikely to escape and become invasive.  They help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, protect the soil and save money on fertilizer and pesticides. (bloggers note: and save the planet in the process)

8. Legislate: Write a letter to your local state representative or get involved with an activist group. Let your lawmakers know your opinions about the impact of invasive species on our natural heritage.

9. Take the Invasive Species Challenge: One of the most effective ways to manage invasive species is for recreationalists such as boaters, fishermen, pet owners, and gardeners to not be unknowing vehicles of dispersion. Download the pdf for more info.

10. Spread Awareness: Take your National Invasive Species Awareness Week commitment beyond this week. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and others about invasive species!


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